The Secret to Olympic Glory Revealed

One of my pet peeves is when people claim that a person’s success is due to luck. “Oh he’s lucky because __________”. My response is usually “chaaaaaab” [Bahraini slang for shut up]

I heard someone mention how lucky an Olympic athlete was because he had a Gold medal! Lucky?! Come on! Of course some success, in my opinion, always involves some sort of luck, but it’s well deserved luck that comes from concentrated, laser-focused effort.

In my opinion, all Olympic medalists have one thing in common; the willingness to do “what it takes.” By that I mean the willingness to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve their goals.

Let me illustrate my point, a martial arts student might dream of getting a Black Belt but lack the patience to wait the necessary years to get it. Some people would like to lose weight but are unwilling to diet and exercise. Others might want to get rich but lack the self-discipline to save and invest. In short, most people are not willing to do what it takes to achieve their dreams and desires.

Let me use a different example. I’ve read lot’s of books and studies on wealth. And it’s been proven that a person of average income can become very wealthy. In fact, a person of average income can actually become a millionaire.

What’s the key? To live below your means. That’s it. It’s so simple it’s disgusting! However, most people live either above, or WAY above their means. Then they complain how difficult and expensive life is. They’re not willing to do what it takes to reach financial independence. It requires lot’s of self-discipline.

I know people who earn a LOT of money, yet they’re always broke somehow. I also know people who save 30% of more or their income. One friend, who makes a very good living saves 70% of his income! His dream is to buy a house and with his self-discipline he will achieve that dream soon.

One of my dreams when I was in my twenties and living in London was to get my Black Belt. That meant long hours of training and significantly sacrificing my social life. I was obsessed with that goal, and even delayed my plans of returning to Bahrain by a year in order to achieve my goal.

I trained almost every day. A few weeks before the test I created a mind map with all my combinations and I asked my wife to test me on them. On the night of my test, among many other gruelling things, I had to fight seven senior students in a row. Seven! [Side note to current Zen-Do students, it’s no longer a requirement to fight seven people šŸ™‚ ]

It was one of the hardest nights of my life. I was bruised and battered and was limping for days afterwards. But it was worth it!

Can you believe that Michael Jordan was dropped from his high school basketball team because he wasn’t good enough? It’s true. Of course we all know how good of a player he became later. He was willing to do what it takes. Even after he became well-known he would still train above and beyond the already gruelling schedule of the average NBA player.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the Olympic athletes. In many cases their sacrifices start from early childhood! But that’s what it takes to be an Olympic Gold medalist. And they know and understand that.

So my friend, if you have a dream, ask yourself what you need to do to achieve it. Have an honest conversation with yourself. Make a list of all the things that you need to do, and ask yourself if you are willing to do them.

If yes, ask yourself “are you suuure?” If the answer is still yes then do it! If you realise you’re not willing to do what it takes then that’s fine too. There’s no shame in be honest with yourself and admitting you’re not up to doing the hard work required. But please please don’t delude yourself and make up excuses of why you’re too busy, too unfortunate, or that you’re a victim of circumstances.

Life is not meant to be easy, and nor is success meant to be easy. It’s supposed to be hard and challenging. It’s supposed to hurt sometimes. The larger your goals and dreams, the bigger the pan and sacrifice must be that you are willing to accept.

That’s all for today my friend. I hope today’s post provided some clarity for you. And sorry if you found it offensive in some way, but an occasional slap in the face with the hard, ice-cold glove of reality is not a bad thing. Talk to you soon.

One Response to The Secret to Olympic Glory Revealed

  1. Sumayah 23 August 2008 at 1:30 pm #

    Suhail,
    This is really up lifting, I will start by doing my list and I believe I have what it takes .

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