I spend a lot of time talking about winning, success and how to get what you want in life. As a society we tend to celebrate the win, the results, the achievement of the goal. We seldom celebrate the struggle, the process, the perseverance through the shit storm. The celebration may need a refocus on the path, instead of the destination.
Last week, I watched and cheered and celebrated Canadian Olympic successes (mostly with amusing and inspiring memes via Facebook and Twitter #CanadianChampion), but I was poignantly reminded of the fact that we don’t always reach that pinnacle moment that we crave. One of my favourite Olympians did not reach the podium in Rio, but she has every reason to celebrate her journey. I know, because I have watched her train, in fact I have had the honour to train beside her at one event. The commitment and work it takes to achieve any level of athletic success is more most of us can imagine. To make it to the Olympic stage is a dream many of us abandon in childhood. And yet we watch and celebrate the Olympic Medalists, without much thought of the hours of work, the tears, the sweat, the passion it takes to just get there.
Isn’t this somewhat reminiscent of life? We look at the winners and think, “Wow! They are so smart…brave…ambitious…fit…accomplished…”, but we seldom see them when they were just someone with potential. We choose not to view the day of loss or the event that bombed. It gives us hope to see successes, without failure or fatigue or old fashioned “f#ck this” attitude of defeat.
I will tell you, there is not a single successful person in athletics, business or life in general, that has not experienced some significant failure. What sets Olympians apart from Wii Fitness enthusiasts, is the willingness to do more than the others and to keep going after the fall. This analogy applies to all aspects of life. Loss, pain, failure are all a part of life and, let’s face it, the more life you do, the more failure you will experience. It’s nothing more than the law of average. So celebrate the journey, regardless of the outcome. The win will come, if you don’t quit. Hard work and perseverance ultimately make the difference.
Get tickets to On Winning Live in Red Deer, September 25, 2016.