Be Ready When Opportunity Knocks – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday February 16, 2010

Thought: In the pursuit of every dream, there comes a moment when the only thing standing between you and your dream is you.

Life is an amazing place. Every day is a lesson. Some times those lessons appear in the most unexpected ways and some times they come in pairs. Saturday night my wife and I were watching the Olympics.

American short track speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno was racing in the 1500 meter final. The heat included three South Korean skaters. There was talk that if the three Koreans could reach the lead they would work together to keep the rest of the field at bay. Ohno carefully positioned himself near the front of the pack early in the race just behind the lead Korean skater.

On the next to last lap of the race, Ohno was passed by the other two Korean skaters and found himself in fourth place and potentially out of the medals with one lap to go. The Koreans skating 1, 2, 3 easily could have kept him there and off the medal stand. Ohno attempted and failed to pass the Koreans. It appeared his U.S. record tying 6th winter Olympics medal would have to wait for another race.

Suddenly, as the leaders came to the last turn before the finish, third place Korean Lee So-Huk tried to pass his teammate Sung Si-Bak. Their legs tangled and they fell to the ice shattering both their medal hopes. Anton Ohno cruised to an easy sliver and American C.J. Celski claimed bronze.

Two Lessons

  1. Preparation – not every race in life goes our way. It’s easy, even common, to give up when this happens. However, the greats in any endeavor – like Apolo Anton Ohno – keep themselves in the game. They keep going all the way to the bell, the finish line, or the horn. Apolo did not win that silver medal because it was his best race. He won it because he put himself in a position to capitalize when the unexpected happened.
  2. Greedy emotions – I never criticize anyone for giving it their all to succeed. Lee So-Huk was simply trying to reach for the finish line with all he had. However, in that process he collided with teammate Sung Si-Bak and cost them both a medal and his country a medal sweep in the event. In a moment of selfish competitiveness, two long-sought dreams were shattered. There are moments in life when we force things hoping for a better result and instead fail to secure what was already ours had we just graciously accepted it. Wisdom is knowing the difference between them.

Stay inspired!


2010 Affirmation

“2010 is MY year! This year I break free! This year I break through! This year I break out!”