As the Olympics draw to a close, I’ve been thinking long and hard about why we’re so fascinated with this every-four-years mega-event. I live vicariously through every medal presentation, proud as punch for the three champions with shiny metal around their collective necks. I’m especially thrilled when the medal-winner is a baby boomer.
Because I’m also an amateur athlete, I marvel at the years of discipline, dedication, and the amount of money it takes to just get tothe Olympics. I want to think like they do—to think like a champion every day, not just in competitive sports, but in life. It’s a different way of approaching life’s little ups-and-downs and I believe it makes those variances more “level.”
Sports psychologist Ron Chamberlain, Ph.D. of the Univ. of Washington told a Seattle television station that these five habits keep top athletes on track when they win—and when they lose.
Smile for success
Being happy can also lead to achievement and success, says Art Markham, Ph.D. Of course, achieving happiness may be fleeting for some of us, and even defining it is difficult, but Markham says that “overall, when people are happy, they put in more effort to create a better future for themselves than when they are not happy.”
So come on, get happy!
Best-selling author and keynote speaker Jon Gordon thinks we can all learn from champions by adapting these traits. Ready?
1. Champions expect to win: They expect success and their positive beliefs often lead to positive actions and outcomes.
2. Champions celebrate the small wins: Big wins and big success happen through the accumulation of many small victories.
3. Champions don’t make excuses when they don’t win: They see their mistakes and defeats as opportunities for growth.
4. Champions focus on what they get to do, not what they have to do: They may not love every minute of their journey but their attitude and will helps them develop their skill.
5. Champions believe they will experience more wins in the future: In spite of their situation, champions believe their best days are ahead of them, not behind them.
“If you don’t think you have what it takes to be a champion, think again,” writes Gordon. “Champions aren’t born. They are shaped and molded.”
It’s never too late to change for the better, especially if your eye is on a prize—a new career, a new relationship or even a new sport. The medal is yours for the winning. Go get it.