The highly anticipated 2010 Winter Olympic Games are well under way. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this year’s games and have a few favorite athletes I’m following. It’s amazing to think about all the different sports that exist for people to compete in. Freestyle skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, snow boarding, and ice dancing are just a few of the many sports the world’s best athletes will compete in during these games. I find myself wondering how these sports ever came to exist. Have you ever stopped to think about how these athletes discovered their talent and love for their sport?
With years of practice and dedication, these athletes have honed their skills. They’ve put in hours upon hours of practice to perfect their techniques. They’ve made sacrifices. They’ve changed the way they eat, sleep, and exercise to ensure their bodies are in top condition for competition. They’ve endured injuries and setbacks. They’ve experienced triumphs and defeats. But, in the long run it has all been worth it. Along the way they have become experts at their sport, well respected and admired for their skills and abilities.
These same ideas apply to you and your career. What things in life interest you? What do you have a passion for? What is your dream? Whatever it is, take a lesson from the Olympic athletes. Discover what you love to do and make it your goal to become the best at it. If there are classes you can take, mentors you can meet with, information you can read, or organizations you can join, make it a point to do it. To achieve your dreams, you will sometimes have to make sacrifices. Stay late to finish a project instead of heading out the door as soon as the work day ends. Save your money for a training seminar you’ve wanted to take instead of buying the latest video game. Change your habits to change your life.
As with anything, we are always continuing to grow in our professions. You don’t just wake up one morning being the best. You have to work at it. It takes time to develop those skills, trial and error, and hours, days, and years of gaining and applying knowledge. It takes focus to become the best at what you do, so figure out what that is and pursue it to the fullest. Like Apolo Anton Ohno, you too can blaze a course in your career. You can soar to new heights like Shaun “The Flying Tomato” White. Keep your eyes focused on the gold, and you’ll come out a winner. In the end, the dedication is worth everything.