What can we learn from Olympians?
To be resilient should be the first lesson irrespective of what work you are doing. Irrespective of the time and severity, you will be knocked down at some point and the mental strength to bounce back and punch a blow on the “face of failure” is your mental superpower. If you are able to do it repeatedly and come out as the winner then you are a champion of your life and profession! Should I include students here? Surely yes. This is not easy for any age, sure. However, as Bob Marley once said, “You never realize how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have.”
Take the example of Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. The endearing smile on Mirabai Chanu’s face after winning the silver medal in the women’s 49-kg class weightlifting competition in the Tokyo Olympic Games has been etched in all our minds forever. We all cheered for her win, however, only a few know the pain that she has had to endure. Her win at the Tokyo Olympic Games is the happy culmination of a journey punctuated by a range of pain both physical and emotional. It is this self-determination that pushes you beyond boundaries and limits that were set as goalposts.
She has defeated her loss at the 2016 Olympic Games. There, she had registered a no-lift. She has overcome the pain of missing the Asian Games due to an injury. With total lifts of 203kg, including 87kg in Snatch and 115kg in Clean and Jerk, she earned herself the Olympic Games silver medal, an appropriate reward for the sacrifices she has made in her pursuit. And there are many Mirabai Chanu who have been constantly hitting the boundaries and coming out as winners. She is the most recent example to put here. And likewise, there are many in the shadows who will win medals with their grit and willpower. Few more names would have surfaced by the time I finish writing.
This is the power of resilience. Just when you think it’s over and you can’t go on, you rise from that moment. You accumulate your strength and decide to give it another try. Time and again, experts keep saying that mental toughness wins as many medals as physical strength. It’s a balance. So, don’t you think we all should glean mental toughness from an Olympian and adapt it to our working life? It is wonderful if you’re talented but what if you are not mentally strong enough. Your journey can end midway if you don’t have the mental capacity to go on until you reach your destination. There’s always going to be somebody else out there who will outwork your talent. This life is short. You’ve only got time for so many shots.
At some point in our lives, we tend to become stressed, overwhelmed and sad. Some folks start eating unmerited food to cope with the pain of being broke. Life gives us tough times. The key is enforcing standards, a mark to reach and to start your journey afresh from the last failure. However, this too is tough. It means we need to challenge ourselves, mentally and physically, to meet the new standard if they are for our ultimate betterment. As we all should, we need to embrace the new standard to be a master of all areas of our lives and achieve success. It’s not about what you are doing but all about how you are doing!
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