Come trovare il Olympian dentro

11 agosto 2008

da Denis Waitley

Iete levando in piedi sull'più alto basamento, quello nel centro. Sentite il ruggito di approvazione dalla folla. Mentre la prima nota del anthem nazionale è giocata nello stadio olimpico, ritenete tutto l'orgoglio e honor che accompagna questo momento. Ore di diecimila della preparazione per questo momento un trionfante nella storia. Avete vinto l'oro!

Quel sogno di un campionato olimpico è nel cuore di ogni atleta dilettante, appena poichè il grande finale, la tazza del mondo, la ciotola eccellente e il Wimbledon sono gli obiettivi dei giocatori professionali di gioco del calcio e dei giocatori di tennis. Che cosa sono i vostri sogni? Siete più probabili non un atleta del mondo-codice categoria, ma certamente avete aspirazioni dei vostri propri. Forse immaginate una medaglia di oro metaforica che è disposta intorno al vostro collo dal CEO della vostra azienda o dai vostri amici e famiglia per essere il la cosa migliore nel vostro proprio senso unico. Forse vi domandate se spettate al rischio di iniziare il vostro proprio commercio.

Alla domenica, i miei grandparents ci prenderebbero i bambini per guidare il merry-go-round enorme vicino al giardino zoologico de San Diego. Potremmo appena attendere per montare quegli zebre, leoni, tigri e stallions bobbing e giriamo rotondo e rotondo alla musica dell'organo antico del tubo. Circondato dagli specchi e dalle luci, i nostri cuori martellerebbero nell'anticipazione mentre abbiamo allungato disperatamente fuori, provante ad essere quello fra tutti i riders che afferrerebbero l'anello dell'oro e vincerebbero un altro giro. Così ha cominciato il mio spirito competitivo.

Poiché siete probabilmente più giovani di sono, potete mai persino sentire parlare afferrare l'anello dell'oro sul carosello. But in the 40s, and 50s, if you reached out and caught it, you not only got a free ride—your name was also announced over the loudspeaker and all the other kids and their parents would applaud. And, of course, the kids all wished it could have been them instead of you.

Reflecting now on my youth, I’ve come to some realizations. I guess I did start out thinking of success and winning as something that you got by reaching outside yourself and proving to others that you were worthy. Come to think of it, most of my friends also believed that you had to prove or earn or win or perform in some special way, and then you would deserve the gold ring or the Olympic gold medal.

The approval of others seemed to precede feelings of self-confidence and self-worth. You were entitled to feel good about yourself only after you performed well. Why did it take me so many years to discover that just the reverse ought to be true?

After devoting most of my lifetime to investigating the wellsprings of personal and professional success, I’m able to make the following statements with great confidence:

  • You need to feel love inside yourself before you can offer it to anyone else.
  • Your own sense of value determines the quality of your performance. Performance is only a reflection of internal worth, not a measure of it.
  • The less you try to impress, the more impressive you are.
  • What you show the world on the outside is a mirror image of how you feel on the inside.
  • You should chase your passion, not your pension.

The key trait shared by athletic champions and winners in every walk of life is the fundamental belief in one’s own internal value.

If your success depends on external possessions, you’ll be subject to constant anxiety. When your peer group cheers one of your accomplishments, you’ll feel good for a while, but then you’ll wonder if they’ll cheer as loudly the next time. If they’re critical, you will feel hurt and threatened. The truth is, you can never win over a long period if your concept of success depends upon the perfect performance or the placing of a gold medal around your neck.

It’s obvious that talent, looks and other attributes aren’t equally distributed, but we’re all given an abundance of value—more than we could use in several lifetimes. The game of life certainly isn’t played on a level playing field for each of us in terms of education, a supportive home life and other circumstances beyond our control, but I can assure you that you were born with the qualities of a champion. That’s what I mean by value.

You see, champions are born, but they can be unmade by their perceptions, exposure and responses. Losers are not born to lose. They’re programmed that way by their own responses to their environment and their decisions.

There’s a phrase I like to use—The Inner Winner—that describes the kind of person who recognizes his or her internal value, and who is able to use that recognition as the foundation for achieving any goal. The secret of wearing the gold medal around your neck in the external world is that first you must be an Inner Winner. You must recognize that you’re already an Olympian Within.


3 Responses to “How to Find the Olympian Within”

  1. etavitom on August 12th, 2008 10:04 am

    Amazing! Thanks for the profound wisdom.

  2. Sid Savara on August 13th, 2008 7:20 pm

    I just recently wrote a blog post too where I referenced the amazing come from behind victory in the 400M relay. It was pretty amazing watching them come back, and I think your post definitely captures that. My personal favorite is this line:

    The less you try to impress, the more impressive you are.

    Sid Savara’s last blog post..Are You Really Working - or Just Using Metawork as an Excuse to Avoid Real Work?

  3. Will on August 16th, 2008 10:18 am

    Even if you’re not an Olympian, you should practice a victory face (see Phelps above for an example), which you should be ready to use during victorious occasions.

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