The Olympic Games are underway in Rio. Just competing at the event is a huge accomplishment in itself. Here’s what you can learn about reaching goals from the world’s top peak performers.
1. When you know your dream, follow it
Follow your passions early. Elite athletes begin their sports when they’re young. It takes years to develop excellence. As soon as you know you have the interest and talent in something, pursue it. As life goes on, apply this to every endeavor. Your peak athletic years may be behind you, but it’s never too late to learn something new.
2. Develop an unwavering dedication
Elite athletes work out for hours every day. It’s their life. It doesn’t matter if they don’t feel like getting up, or if they’re having a bad day. They still do it. Anything you want badly takes dedication. If you’re not willing to devote time and effort to reaching your goal, you just don’t want it badly enough. That’s okay. Find something else.
3. Failure is part of developing excellence
No one ran their best time in their first race. Not every ball went into the hoop. Dismounts were not perfect. Every perfected skill involved failures. Athletes fall, they miss, and they fail. They know that they have to keep practicing. They get better by challenging themselves to continually do more. Accept failure as part of the process of developing excellence.
4. Visualize success
The power of visualization is well established. Elite athletes imagine themselves in their event and winning. They practice over and over in their minds. Push away all images of failure. Imagine your moment of success in great sensory detail. Imagine what you see, hear, smell and feel in the moment.
5. Keep your values clear
Goals can turn into obsessions. Make sure you’re making space in your life for your core values. Some athletes chose not to attend this year’s event. Their values of health and safety for themselves and their families were greater than their lifelong desire to win. That took introspection and courage.
Enjoy seeing the world’s best athletes compete and break records. Cheer their successes and apply these concepts to reaching your own dreams.