6 Life Lessons We Can Learn from Olympic Athletes

Article posted in: Lifestyle
Olympic runner

The Olympics are full of world-class performances. But even if you haven’t ascended to the top of a sport—or you aren’t trying to—there are tidbits you can take from the triumphs of these incredible athletes. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your career or just feel happier each day, our Olympic athletes have lessons that can help you make your own dreams come true.

1. Even the very best need some help.

Everyone needs support—even those who are the undisputed best at what they do. The world’s best strength coaches have coaches of their own. The world’s best basketball players work with “shot doctors” in the off-season to get better. Whether your goal is weight loss, career success or competitive master’s athletics, you’ll need support, too. Find mentors you can talk to, other people on the same path you can talk to, loved ones who support and understand your goals and dreams. Lean on their expertise and counsel, and you’ll go further than you could alone.

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2. Be yourself, bravely and proudly.

Boldly, bravely be yourself. Embrace who you are and what you love, and you can achieve your goals and inspire others.

3. Your dreams may change, but you should never stop pursuing them.

When life closes a door, it does NOT, as you’ve heard, open a window. You’ve got to find the new path on your own. Your dreams and goals will change—thanks to age, wisdom, heartbreak, circumstances, wealth or just a change of priorities. And that’s OK, so long as you find goals to pursue as fervently as ever. Review your goals periodically to see if they’re still realistic, or still align with what you really want. Be ready to change, commit to adjusted goals, and get after them.

4. Live life with appreciation, not expectations.

Live life with an attitude of appreciation instead of an attitude of expectation, and you’ll be happier. Put in the work—in the gym, as a parent, at the office, or in your favorite hobby—and do your best when it comes time to compete or be put to the test. But the final outcome is not yours to control: You can only do your best and control your behavior now and going forward. Appreciate the work you’ve put in and the position that work has put you in, and you’ll feel more fulfilled than if you have expectations that aren’t met exactly.

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5. Don’t just focus on outcomes. Enjoy the journey.

While it’s important to track how you’re progressing toward a goal—in weight loss, for instance, studies have shown that weighing in helps people lose more weight—it’s also important to find a journey you can truly enjoy. Doing something you love will be far easier to stick to—meaning you’re more likely to reach the outcome you desire.

6. Don’t let others control how you feel about you.

Don’t let others determine how you feel about yourself. Only you know the work you put in each day. Only you get to define how you view yourself.

America is lucky to have athletes that have graduated from top universities with brilliant minds, who are entrepreneurs and who have the poise most can only dream of. Athletes who won’t allow others’ misconceptions to change their journeys, and don’t allow faceless critics to try to tear them down or question their journey. They have a joy and passion for the game they love, and learn to enjoy the journey rather than stressing over the outcome.

When things don’t go as planned, don’t complain. Appreciate where you’ve been, what you are going through, and look for your own finish line. You will get there. Just like our Olympians!