Reflecting on the Olympics and Potential

By Jay Forte

Rarely do we get to see what potential looks like. So many people just barely scratch the surface of what they are capable of. Too many of us settle for “good enough.”

For those of us tuning in to watch the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, we get ringside seats to see of the results of focus, determination, effort and above all, potential. To have so many consecutive days of Olympic athletes is both inspiring and activating. These athletes train without limit, know their strengths, push through their own obstacles and reach their potential right in front of our eyes. These ringside seats have led to multiple recent conversations I’ve had with clients who now are more inspired to set higher goals and push a little harder to achieve them.

I was most touched and reminded of potential when I heard interviews with the American brother/sister ice dancing couple, Maia and Alex Shibutani, who earned two Bronze medals during the Olympics this year. In their interview, they focused more on talking about their goal to show up and do their absolute best, to look past the basic level of competition in the Olympics and be fully engaged and committed to what is deepest and best in them.

They knew their potential and worked to achieve it. Remarkable perspective, especially from two 20-somethings.

This dedication and perspective on being present to be their best is a theme we hear over and over as every athlete talks about drive, focus and potential.

I routinely share this powerful quote by Buckminster Fuller, an American architect, with my clients and audiences: “What is it on the planet that needs doing that I know something about that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

It is a reminder to look into yourself, to know your abilities and potential, and to use them to make a positive change in your world. Olympic athletes do this as they activate something deep in all of us to want to do better, be better, perform better. They remind us that we have an obligation to bring what we do best to make our difference in the world.

Watching the Winter Olympics this year presents us with three big lessons. First, spend time knowing yourself. Recognize the limits you place on yourself and what your potential is and could be if those limits are removed.

Second, find places in your world where you can raise your game and your performance, for both you and your world.

And finally, stay inspired to always bring your A-game, your best, to all that you do, including the small stuff. Each moment of each day matters.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. Soon, the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea will end. How will the inspiration of the Games not go with it?
  2. How will you continue to be inspired, engaged and even push to reach past the limits you set for yourself — whether intentionally or not — to move toward recognizing your full potential?
  3. What is your commitment to bring your potential to all you do, to share it with your world to make it better?

The events of life are here to inspire us. Sometimes, they are challenges that force us to learn. Other times, they are success stories that remind us how capable we all are in our own ways. Your potential is not the same as mine, but there is the capacity for both of us to achieve great things when that individual potential is recognized. Watch for what the world shares with you and expects from you. In both places, watch for potential.

 

Consider reading How to Succeed in Changing Times

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