I gained an early appreciation for the Olympics as a kid growing up in Spain. I took pride in our athletes, and often wondered how they got to be on the national team. There was always something amazing about the opening ceremonies and the Parade of Nations. That inspiration remains with me no matter what.
So, it’s that time of the 4 year cycle again. You may or may not be watching them. If you are, you may have had conversations with people who joke about the Olympics, “Two weeks of sports you never watch during the rest of the year.”
Yet, most of us are glued to the TV at some point, watching swimming, track and field, and other sports we admittedly don’t typically watch very often…
WHY DO WE DO THIS?
Here’s my theory:
Most TV and news coverage is full of mind-numbing or heart-sinking crap that distracts you from your personal dreams.
With most national channels and news outlets around the world offering full coverage of the Olympics, you get two weeks of reprieve from that distraction. You switch on the TV and can’t help but go from sport to sport, watching people accomplish something special. Anyone from anywhere, or just your favorite athletes. It’s a call beyond national pride, it’s global pride in our potential as humanity when we commit to our joy.
Watching the Olympics, we get to overwhelm our minds with something that is super packed with GOODNESS and inspires us to keep dreaming.
Here’s why I believe we love the Olympics:
They make us feel good.
They’re a powerful reminder that good things do happen in this world, more than we’re often shown.
We like to see people win because it reminds us that WE win too.
Whilst we think we’re watching athletes compete at their sport, what they’re really doing us is showing us their joy, on a world stage, witnessed by millions.
We also love watching them excel because it triggers that feeling and desire within us.
It might look like they’re competing against one another, but really they’re competing with themselves. And really, the only competition you ever have is with yourself. Whether it’s in business, well being, creativity, love.
“Can I do this thing better than yesterday? Can I express my love more openly? Will I complete that painting today? Can I take my company to the next level and impact more lives? Can I make a consistent habit of feeling good?” The list goes on…
Your stage may not include millions of people, but it still includes people, the most important one being YOU.
Athletes help us remember to be in our joy, because that’s what they live and breathe through their sport and daily practice*. It’s a reminder to perform our personal best, every day. To do it again with more focus, more commitment… and more wonder. Because that’s what keeps them going. The possibility they can run faster, jump higher, score more goals, reach the podium, achieve a gold medal. It’s purely a symbol of achievement, and the biggest achievement is staying the course of feeling good.
We’re built to want, with this vast playground of life experiences to choose from.
Your “gold” may not be a medal, it may be some external symbol of achievement, and it’s whatever it means to you. It’s a reminder of the deeper accomplishment of committing to your own joy. So honor what you relate to as a symbol of personal achievement, as your dreams unfold. This is your life. Create your own benchmarks. Create your own podium. Most of all, have fun.
This is my encouragement for you to carry the torch for your dreams, because the world needs more inspiration.
*do athletes feel physically good after completing a triathlon? Probably not, but they do feel ecstatic for staying the course of what they set out to do. That’s what we’re talking about here.