3 Take-Away Life Lessons from the Olympic Athletes

Olympic Life Lessons

(Since the winter Olympics have taken center stage, I have updated this post and republishing it. These are good lesson we could all use a refresher in, especially me. 🙂 )

The Sochi Olympics are here! Have you been watching? I’ve watched some: snow boarding, a little of the sking, and my favorite, figure skating.

I am always amazed at the level of talent and effort put in by the Olympic athletes, and all serious athletes, really. There’s a reason St. Paul often used the analogy of athletes for the spiritual life. They are a great example of what we need to succeed in the spiritual life and in life in general. Here’s three of them:

Lesson One: Consistency

Serious athletes, like those participating in the Olympics, practice rigorously, on an ongoing basis. They set up a schedule and follow through. If they are serious about getting a metal, they are going to practice almost everyday without fail – often several hours a day. They don’t flip-flop, procrastinate or take days off because they feel like it.

If we are going to be successful in our spiritual life, or business or whatever else, we must be consistent. And I suck at it…I’ll go a week where I’ll pray everyday and make it to daily mass and then I’ll have an “off” day where I’m “too busy” or for whatever reason I skip and then the next thing I know, I’ll realize that I haven’t said my rosary in 4 days. Being consistent is a definite battle for me.

How consistent are you?

Lesson Two: Perseverance

One of the things I love about watching the Olympics is the background stories of many of the athletes. So many of them have had difficulties and obstacles to overcome just to practice and succeed in their sports. Whether it’s financial difficulties, or injuries or opposition from family or friends, these athletes have gone against the odds and conquered.

If we are going to succeed, be it in our spiritual life or business, we, too, need to persevere. Times are hard. We are all struggling, some more than others, but we all have our crosses to bear. Starting or building a business isn’t always easy, but to succeed, you have to be persistent and work through the hard times. And don’t forget, God will give us the grace we need – if we ask!

How persistent are you?

Lesson Three: Focus

Most serious athletes focus all their attention and effort on one sport; and with good reason. By focusing on just one sport, the athlete can put all his or her time, resources, attention and physical abilities into being the best he or she can be. And it shows. When I am watching the Olympic athletes perform, it looks as if nothing exists except them and their sport. The athlete blocks out everything that can potentially get between them and achieving their goals.

For us to succeed in our spiritual life we need to focus – on GOD. Does that mean we sit and pray all day? Of course not. But like the athletes who think about their sport or talk about their sport even when they are doing other things, we can train ourselves to think about God and talk about God no matter what we are doing. We can train ourselves to be a living prayer, if we focus and practice.

For bloggers, or those building a business, a lot of times when reading or listening about business advice we are often told how important it is to have a niche. It took me a long time to understand why. Having a focus, or a niche, doesn’t hinder a person from being successful, but rather, helps a person succeed.

Are you focused?

Now it’s your turn. What life lessons have you garnered (or are garnering) from watching the Olympics? Do share in the comments.

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(Olympics Rings Image in Public Domain)