What Olympians Know
August 1, 2012 § 2 Comments
Olympians know this: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
It’s the same for any of us who dare to “do better”, to be the best we can be, and then some. To rise above. To discover, to conquer, to surpass, to make dreams come true ~ or to simply grow as spiritual beings. It’s the same for any of us who dare to bloom.
This is a favorite drawing that my daughter likes to show to her friends and say, “can you believe that’s a pencil drawing?” And she’ll often say to me, “Mom, how did you do that? Seriously, how does that even happen?” And I tell her it’s because I practiced a lot lot lot. Yes, it’s something I had a propensity for early on, but I worked it. Like Malcolm Gladwell’s study in his book Outliers, I’d put in my hours. And if I hadn’t, this eagle would not be hanging on the wall as an unintended, but still valuable lesson right here at home.
Olympians, of course, really know how to work it. The hours they put in are nearly incomprehensible to the majority of us mere mortals, but the results of their habits are profound. I don’t know how anyone could escape feeling inspired to push a little harder, be a little better, aim a little higher. At the very least, we can admire the amazing human spirit, just by watching what Olympians know and exemplify.
And yet… without ever having stood on an Olympic podium with a shiny gold, silver or bronze medallion, there’s probably not one of us who couldn’t find a positive example of our very own that proves Aristotle right. Excellence is a habit, not an act. So go for gold.