The Thing I Admire Most About the Olympics and Olympians!

Morning Folks!!

'Mediocre' would be the word I would describe myself for the first 50% of my life. I never gave 100% of myself on about anything I was ever graded on.

Somewhere along the way that changed. I learned how to strive for excellence in everything I do. No matter how big and no matter how small. Actually the smaller stuff is just as important. Maybe more important. A grain of sand can bring the biggest machine to a grinding halt.

But I was not taught excellence in any school I attended. I was taught excellence by the Olympics. I realized the difference between winner and loser. Between champion and 2nd place. I realized that while much of the Olympics is physical, more of it is mental. I also realized that the last guy in an Olympic race is still a champion. Still has the mind of a champion and will react like a champion.

I then followed a number of Olympians throughout their lives and saw how almost all were successes in everything they did and it all came down to one word. 'Discipline'. That's the common thread. The pursuit of excellence only goes through the intersection of 'Discipline'. Training your mind not to fall victim to human nature.

Olympians are disciplined. They win in their mind and their body follows along. It is seldom the other way. Giving 100% even in a loss is more gratifying than being mediocre. 'The thrill of Victory. The agony of Defeat.' Such a powerful set of words that describes so well what it is all about.

I never feel guilty when I fail. I only feel guilty when I fail because I did not give 100%. Or I failed and did not learn something along the way. Or I failed for doing something stupid.

The only thing that makes you a loser in the Olympics is bad 'Sportsmanship'. Same in life. No excuses for that one. Badminton anyone?

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz

PS: The one person I thought had the most raw talent at the start of these games and had a chance to make it big, won gold last night. Way to go Gabby!


13 thoughts on “The Thing I Admire Most About the Olympics and Olympians!

  1. steve

    I beat myself every morning to get ready for this cruel world.
    Then I go out there and work hard to bring about the destruction of the world.

  2. Danny Pryor

    You play badminton? I enjoy that game, and my water view comes with sand! LOL! Anyway, it’s difficult for anyone to understand excellence until they have achieved a series of small successes that point to the construction of bigger achievement. Most people admire success, but they’re understanding of the excellence required to achieve it is lacking. In many cases, this is not their fault. Nobody taught me excellence, either. I was only berated when I didn’t achieve”my potential”.
    Amazingly, desire for excellence is only the beginning of discipline and achievement. So much more sacrifice is required than most are capable of giving, and any number of factors may be involved.
    You’ve written a short post, Rick, but this one holds more opportunity for exploration and debate than the most verbose treatise ever written. ;-)

  3. Scott Alliy

    Great post,
    I actually met and got a signed card from Milt Campbell the 1956 U.S. Olympic Decathalon champion. Strong yet humbe guy.
    success is made easier when
    a) you realize that while everything you may be doing isn’t working the truth is that something is working for somebody and you decide to look listen and imatate their success and behaviors (including as you mentioned discipline)
    b) you realize and follow the old adage”if it is to be it’s up to me”
    Here’s to giving it your all and the country that provides each of us the freedom and opportunity to do so every day!

  4. Anunt

    Easy way to be successful:
    Set a reward for yourself, then accomplish your goal to get that big reward!
    For example: I wanted a new Porsche 911 Turbo S…so I kept working hard and saving…and now I am driving that Porsche and feel like i accomplished my goal and got that big reward and feel successful.

  5. Tia Wood

    Gabby inspires me, too! Her Mom allowed her to live with a host family in another city just to train for the Olympics, something I could not imagine how hard would be for a Mother. To see her reaction in the crowd as her daughter won gold was amazing…. To learn about what these Olympians go through just to make it to the Olympics inspires me.

  6. Jeff Schneider

    Hello Rick,
    First off you have got it right on your post. Thanks for sharing!
    I have been extremely in awe of Phelps for three olympics now. I was a swimmer from age 6 to 28 and swam for Kent State U. ,that now sadly has no swim team? Its the Money at the gate thing, which I feel is sad and most damaging to the sport of swimming in our country.
    Getting back to Michael Phelps, I have never seen a more powerful mastery of all the strokes in one individual. As you say his mind is very disciplined and remains a huge gift he has mastered. This British twit that says he is not the worlds greatest athlete is Ignorance on Fire. When Phelps swims the fly, one of my events as well, I just sit there in awe. Its like watching a world class dancer or skier its such a rush.
    My prediction? in my lifetime he will not be surpassed as the worlds greatest Olympian.

  7. LindaM

    I got dragged along to the beach volleyball in front of buck-house last night to see our teamGB girls get knocked out blehh! Much better game afterwards with the German mens team.
    Had an awesome time tho rly, beach volleyball is the best olympic event ever!!

  8. Show us the money..

    It was Coe that thought he wasn’t the best. But it just depends what you define as ‘best’. If it’s the number of medals then so be it. But some sports have far more medals on offer. Coe thought that Heptathlon was the ultimate definition and if I am honest that’s what a true ideal of an Olympiad is, the best at all sports. You can only win one medal in that ‘sport’.

  9. L

    Buy 100 guitars, pass them out to 100 kids who express an initial interest in playing the guitar.
    50 of those guitars will be in the closet collecting dust after the first week, once those kids realize the music doesn’t happen by magic, but by skill.
    25 more of those guitars will be in the closet after the first year, once the remaining kids realize that even after a year, you’re still not sounding like Steve Vai.
    Of the remaining 25, 15 will fool around with playing guitar for the rest of their lives but won’t ever take it seriously.
    Of the remaining 10 who take it seriously only 5 will apply any degree of discipline.
    At that point, whatever separates those 5 boils down to dedication and natural talent but those are the five people who eventually achieve what they set out to do when they first picked up a guitar.
    Every meaningful undertaking in life should be viewed as a commitment to doing whatever it takes to, at the very minimum, be in that 5%.

  10. Chadi Ghaith

    However, if u wanna excel in the Art of Life itself, ur bound to never be excellent in anything apparent.
    Protagoras, a Greek philosopher didn’t have anything he was excellent at, yet he claimed he knew the Art of Living and that his lack of excellence in anything in particular is due to the fact that he was too loving of life to give himself up for one thing; and he was willing to accept not being noticed or known for any specific thing.
    I identify with Protagoras, cz i believe Life is too vast; and those who excel in one thing in particular become too stiff to survive the winds of change (i.e. aging for example). They all end up depressed and nostalgic when they age.
    My role model is Socrates, someone who’s yet not known whether he drank the poison of Athens did after his death.
    He’s known for saying:”Its not important that u end up at a finish line FIRST, its important that u arrive gracefully…” (not all sweaty and one dimensional).

  11. Show us the money..

    “Or I failed and did not learn something along the way.” Failure is an investment like education is. Just keep failure manageable.


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