We just finished watching the Winter Olympics as well as the Brier Curling Finals. Each of them offered several lessons that we can apply in our personal lives:
1. Practice - If you want to be good at something then you need to devote both time and energy to develop your skills. Olympic athletes don't think in days, weeks or months but in four-year blocks of time. They know that if they focus on practicing their sport, they will likely move up in the rankings when the next Games occur. People in the academic world know that to become a "master" in anything you need to invest 10,000 hours which would be about four years.
2. Professional input - Those who do well usually have a mentor or coach who will provide them with knowledge and encouragement, so they can become better than they were previously. Consultation can bring benefits in a number of areas. Athletes want the best health, equipment and wisdom so they deliberately look for and find resources that will help them. As individuals we also need to seek out help to problem-solve and reduce stress in our lives.
3. Commitment - It takes more than a dream to realize a goal. Being away from home for curling bonspiels can take a toll on relationships or prevent some from even launching. Finding sponsors can be demanding, especially when an athlete hasn't won or been recognized for his or her potential. Commitment as an athlete and in life involves setting goals, being accountable to the team and balancing wellness with achievement. It is the same in our personal lives. We need to be honest with everyone including ourselves, deliver what we promise and deliver on time.
4. Resilience - When the unexpected occurs there needs to be a plan B! Resiliency means that you can recover quickly from difficulties and show some toughness of character. Think of an elastic band. When you stretch the elastic to its maximum, it becomes stressed. Let go and see if it returns to its original shape. If so, you understand resilience. Athletes often have injuries, are unable to compete and know that they have a small window of time in which they can compete before they are unable to continue. The good news is that people can learn to be resilient and that is why there are psychologists who are trained to help others.
5. Bravery - All you have to do is watch the snowboarders flip high in the air or observe the luge trials to realize the serious dangers and risks athletes often face. You don't need to stake your life like they do in order to do well but if you don't take some chances, you will likely be disappointed with your results.
6. Attitude - Why is it devastating for some athletes to win the silver medal? They are still second in the whole world! Expectations that are too high and a negative attitude can steal or tarnish the valor in a person's accomplishments. In the 2017 Brier round robin Brandon Bottcher's team from Alberta only won three of their eleven games. But they had a winning attitude and in 2018 made it to the final game. What an accomplishment! Think positive and do not let emotions interfere with your performance.
Most of us will never compete as elite athletes. Many will never even have tickets to watch a live sporting events. But all of us can view the television broadcasts and read about the sports individuals who will teach us life lessons and inspire us - if we choose to embrace the opportunities available.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com
From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker