The Olympics are over, and while for some athletes it marked the end, for many it marks the beginning of four years of training. Four years until they'll see marked results from their daily work. Sound familiar?
It also takes about four years until you walk on that stage to get your diploma.
There was one particular Olympics commercial about the journey itself that really struck me. While images flashed of the road from the perspective of a cyclist, the blue mat from the eyes of the gymnast, and the splashing water from the goggles of a swimmer, these words played:
Take a day off? I don’t even take a morning off.
I haven’t ordered dessert in two years.
You know that best selling book everyone loves? I haven’t read it.
I haven’t watched TV since last summer. Hey, I’ve been busy.
Your first thought may be, wow, they have no lives. While I'm a big believer in balancing work and play, I do think there is some powerful truth in this commercial --> If you want to be average, spend your time doing things average people do, but if you want to be great, you've got to spend your time differently.
Just like the Olympics, we live in a competitive world, and standing out requires sacrifice. However, it's not about sacrificing for the sake of misery, but for the sake of something you want more than what's tempting you in the present.
If you want to be good, that's totally okay - we need more good people in the world. But if you want to be great, you have to work harder than everyone else.
The good news is, what someone else is doing in his or her lane doesn't actually matter - all that matters is what you're doing in yours, and how focused you are on your goal.
So how do you know if you have Olympic focus? Take a close look at your daily habits and the way you spend your time. Choose one day this week to write down what you do each hour, without judging yourself. Then write down your goals and analyze the way you're spending your time with their goals. Do they align? What could you replace in order to make more time for the things that really matter the most to you?
It's the daily habits (and yes, sometimes sacrifices) that make big dreams come true. Dreams really do come true, but only for those who realize that every spec of fairy dust requires is a drop of sweat.
The business of dreams is hard work. But the rewards - they're as good as gold.