#82: “It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life.”

“…The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated… it is finished when it surrenders.”

– Ben Stein, American writer, actor, economist and lawyer

With the 2012 Olympic Games now complete, we can all be inspired by many highlights. Among them are numerous examples of individuals who came up short in previous games, and returned after 4 – 8 years of work to achieve their goal.

Some examples include:

  • Brittney Reese, who won gold in the women’s long jump, after coming fifth in 2008
  • Sanya Richards-Ross, who won gold in the 400 meters, after winning bronze in 2008
  • Allyson Felix, who won gold in the 200 meters, after winning silver in 2004 and 2008

Someone once shared with me the phrase, “What stops people is that they stop.” In virtually all areas of life, we experience various degrees of defeat. When we surrender or stop in our efforts, our failures are final.

Exercise:

Where in your professional and personal life can you keep going and persist in your efforts, to achieve an even more victorious life?

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#81: “A man’s life is interesting primarily when he has failed…”

“… I well know. For it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.”

– Georges Clemenceau, French journalist, physician and statesman

The 2012 Olympic Games recently ended. Each country, team and individual was highly focused on winning gold. What did it mean to the individuals who did not make it to the Olympics, or who did not make it through the preliminaries, the semi-finals, or stand on the podium with a medal?

This year’s Olympics had about 16,000 athletes for a world that contains over 7 billion people. How many medals were actually won and how many athletes, by the lack of a medal, “failed”?

Consider how many other athletes experience the great, often quiet, victories of achievement – of achieving their personal best.

Exercise:

What would be necessary for you to continually strive to surpass yourself?

What would be involved in achieving a “ten” in living? Or, to put it another way, what would you need to do to achieve a gold medal life?

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