THE Olympics again! Wow! Yahoo! Cheer, cheer, cheer!!! As the athletes blast out of their starting gates, we are humbled as we philosophize on their journeys to excellence that have consumed and dominated their lives for years. They have made huge sacrifices to create a journey for themselves that is always changing, always adapting, and always reinventing. I myself am grateful to them for many things but one thing in particular. The wakeup call! Yes, ‘wakeup people’ and realize that we are really good at resting, observing and lulling ourselves into the idea that we are who we are and nothing changes because we are in a good enough place. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! (Guess I am getting passionate about this blog! :-D! ) There is always room for improvement! Forgotten about those New Year’s resolutions already, eh?
Famous world champion racecar driver, Mario Andretti once said, “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle once said, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
Ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius once said, “ The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
Now, I am quite sure that these two latter learned people probably repeated themselves many, many, MANY times. Alas, how many people stopped to listen and apply the ideas? The three Olympic values that founded the ideals of the Olympic Games create three key ideas that we could no doubt expand into long theses on philosophy of each topic. Excellence, respect and friendship are key factors that develop our sense of self, our sense of place in the community and our integrity that sometimes draws big-time on our personal resources. Sport belongs to all. It should put human beings first, developing body, will and mind. It forges friendships and preserves resources and history; important elements of our place in the world.
Enjoy the rest of the Games. I, myself, will not watch all the athletes because it is logical that not all sports attract everyone’s interests. Choose a few and cheer along the way. But, don’t do so without reflecting on how long it has taken each athlete to get to this point – not to mention missing a place in standings by 1/100 of a second! – and make sure you set yourself some goals. “Studies have shown that the most important way to achieve excellent performance in fields such as sport, music, professions and scholarship is to practice. Achievement of excellence in such fields commonly requires approximately 10 years of dedication, comprising about 10,000 hours of effort.” (Karl Anders Ericsson (1996), The road to excellence: the acquisition of expert performance in the arts and sciences, sports, and games.)
Sounds like an interesting topic for next month’s blog? Gotta read that book!!
Brought to you by: Angie Stone, Prima Dance Academy, Studio# 905.425.2828 www.primadanceacademy.ca