GO FOR THE GOLD!
By Joel Burke
What does it take to be a gold medal winner in the Olympics? How about an Olympic champion 14 times? Swimmer Michael Phelps has achieved a level of greatness that few people would ever dream of! In the 2004 Olympics, Phelps won 6 gold medals and in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Phelps would win other 8 gold medals!
I believe to achieve any goal in life; three pillars must be in place.
- Pillar of Painful Preparation
- Pillar of Persistence Determination
- Pillar of Precise Focus
Preparing for success hurts! There are no short cuts. There is no magic wand to wave. I remember in high school basketball practice how players would cut the corners when the coaches weren’t looking. They thought they were being clever. However, all they were doing were cheating themselves. You must go through the fire. You can’t go around it, over it or under it. You must walk painfully through it because the fire of the furnace refines and defines who we are to become. In the preparation for the Beijing Olympics, Phelps was swimming almost 50 miles per week. This training required him to eat up to 12,000 calories a day, about six times the intake of a normal adult male.
I’m sure there were plenty of days through the years that Michael would wake up in the morning and just feel like sleeping a couple more hours of just taking the day off. His desire for training that day was at zero. I have to come learn in life that those days matter the most. Those are days that make the difference. The days when we feel like we running up hill with the wind in our face and it hurts. That’s painful preparation.
Once you have discovered your purpose in life- that gift needs to be sharpened for the goal! I truly believe that persistence always pays off in the end.
- It doesn’t matter how much talent you have!
- It doesn’t matter how smart you are!
- It doesn’t matter how experienced you are!
- It doesn’t matter who you know!
The endurance to fight the fight and run the race to the finish line is truly what matters most. We are not defined by our limitations, but by the intervention of God’s perfect plan for our lives.
Distractions can be fatal. We can’t be sidetracked by what is happening around us and take random detours along the way and not even realize it. We must have a lazer focus. Just like a Swimmer or a runner in a race, we must never look at what is happening to our left or our right. We must never look over our shoulder and see what is happening behind us. We must have tunnel vision and stay 20/20 focused on the finish line. When we allow distractions to happen, it can easily cause us to waste both our physically and mental energy. All too often we all want to compare ourselves to others. In the process, we actually lower our standards and take our focus on being best we can be.
Author Peter Drucker has said, “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises …but no plans.” What is your plan? No, you probably don’t have the talent to be the next Michael Phelps or be the next Tiger Woods, but you do have a special, unique talent that can allow you to be a gold medal winner in your special place in life! Isn’t that what all of us want?
Joel Burke is PD of multi-award winning country radio station KYGO in Denver, Colorado. He is also author of the book “Inspire!: Inspiration For Life And Life At Work”.