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!

Ray

2010 Affirmation

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

5 Ingredients for Success – The Affirmation Spot for Monday August 18, 2008

Watching the Olympics really highlights the narrow margin between greatness and near greatness when it comes to sports and life. But for a 1/100th of a second here or an extra step there, the winners and the almosts would be quite different. The message is that the margin of victory is small, but opportunities for success are many.

As I pointed out in one recent post, I really believe we are in a race of one. The world may appoint one person the “winner” and someone else the “loser”; but we really are in a pursuit of own highest potential. Winners and losers are an administrative detail.

Someone who works hard for years towards a goal is not a loser by any measure. They may not be labeled winner or victor, but they are an unqualified success.

There are many, many things that contribute to success. However, they can be broken down into five key ingredients that repeatedly create success.

  1. Talent – talent in a particular endeavor really is a baseline for success in that field. That’s not to say that you cannot derive satisfaction and happiness from painting even though you’ll never be Monet. You most certainly can! However, if your goal is success in a pursuit, it’s best to start with where your talent lies. Talent can be natural or developed.
  2. Motivation – all the talent in the world is nowhere without the motivation to develop it and advance it to a superior level. Motivation is a lot about excelling the talent and being willing to do the hard work. It’s also the mental part of the equation. Motivation is all about your thinking.
  3. Hard work – even in the age of electronic communication, social networking, and global media there is still no substitute for hard work. Success comes to talented, motivated, hard workers.
  4. A little help from your friends – it’s easy to see how this works in a team sport. A football team cannot win without a quarterback, offensive tackles, linebackers, punters, etc. Really, though, most high-level endeavors in life are a team effort. These Olympians we see winning medals have coaches, massage therapists, sponsors, and others that make it possible for them stand on that platform.
  5. Luck – there may be five really great sales professionals in a company, but only one is the top. Two great teams meet in The World Series every year, but only one great team becomes world champion. Sometimes you can have other four factors and it comes down to the way a ball bounces. Luck can be the deciding factor between individuals or teams that have done the other four. However, luck is overrated by many people who see all success as luck. It rarely is. Many people give up when luck goes against them. The key is to start right back with the motivation and start the process again. You were not the top sales person this time, but you can be next time. You can lose the Super Bowl by inches, but start again at training camp with the goal to get there again.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.





Michael Phelps’ 8th Gold Medal Breaks Spitz Olympic Record – The Affirmation Spot

Today’s Affirmation:

“I thrive on pressure situations. They only up my game.” (hear it)

It was close, but Michael Phelps won his record 8th gold medal surpassing Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old Olympic record. The American Mens 4 x 100 meter medley relay team pulled out the victory that made Michael Phelps the undisputed Olympic champion of champions.

For the second time in these Olympics, Jason Lezak anchored the team and brought home the gold. This time holding off a surging Team Australia.

The Americans won in world record time of 3:29.84.

A clearly fatigued Phelps was humble in describing this accomplishment, but his teammate Brendan Hansen was not shy in declaring Phelps’ accomplishment the greatest in sports. Hansen said, “What the man to my right accomplished is the biggest thing in sports general. It’s bigger than the Tour de France. It’s bigger than a pressure putt at the U.S. Open.”

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Aaron Piersol said, “My hat’s off this guy for this accomplishment.”

Phelps told NBC’s Bob Costas, “I’m at a loss for words. This was everything that I wanted to do and everything I dreamed of. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Costas asked, “You’re a bit like Michael Jordan in this respect. Jordan would extract motivation from any situation. He would even somehow perceive a slight from an intended compliment. So whether it’s (Ian) Thorpe, or it’s (Milorad) Cavic, or Alain Bernard. If it’s something real or imagined that can get under your skin you use it?

Phelps replied, “Oh yeah. I said yesterday I welcome any comments. All they do is fire me up. I love when people say that somebody can’t do something. You want to go out there and prove it that much more.”

Tonight Phelps proved it for now and all time. He finishes this Olympics with 8 gold medals, seven world records, and one Olympic record. He set a goal four years ago to come and dominate these games. He worked towards that goal for four years. Tonight it all came true.

He is an inspiration to us all.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.





Phelps’ 7th Gold Medal a Reminder to All – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday August 16, 2008

It’s amazing what you can learn watching the Olympics. Michael Phelps’ drive towards eight gold medals has been a veritable life lesson for us all. Sunday night we were all reminded that even great people in great pursuits need others to help them succeed.

“It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.”

~ often attributed to Harry S. Truman

Phelps’ 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay teammate Jason Lezak kept Phelps’ dream alive when he improbably overcame a huge deficit against the world’s top 100-meter freestyler.

Friday night Phelps was aiming for gold medal #7 – the one that would tie Mark Spitz’s single Olympics record – and again the life lessons flowed.

Phelps was favored in the 100-meter butterfly, but after so many swims he has to be feeling it. At the 50 meter turn, Phelps found himself in seventh place out of eight swimmers. Serbian swimmer Milorad Cavic – Phelps’ leading competitor in the race – had the lead and appeared poised to upset Phelps and deny history. The race seemed to belong to Cavic with 10 meters remaining.

As they approached the wall, Cavic glided and Phelps pushed forward with one last stroke. He touched the wall 1/100th of a second ahead of Cavic.

So? It’s just another swimming race, right? Yes, but there was a lesson in there. We live in a culture where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Women compare their figures with models and movie stars in magazines and magazines encourage it. We compare our cars with our neighbor’s car. We compare our results with others. There is almost never a time we are not comparing something about us or our lives with someone else.

Comparing robs us of energy and can sidetrack us. We start worrying about what is fair. This thinking is counterproductive in pursuing our goals. We are here to run our own race, not worry about the race others are running.

Who knows what was really going through Cavic’s mind as he neared the wall. Perhaps he was gliding because he thought he had victory. Meanwhile, Phelps was just running (um swimming) his race.

When we run our race we put the blinders on and forget about the medals, the credit, the fame, or the financial reward we may be seeking. Those things will sort themselves out later. During the race we are all about the race and pushing towards that wall.

Whether you are a sales professional or a writer; an athlete or a student; a scientist or a clerk you must run your own race and – this is critical – allow others the run theirs. Focus your energy. Be all about the race. Never assume you have it until you touch that wall.

That’s what Michael Phelps did. You may not win every time, but your success will be far greater than if you are constantly looking around to see where others are in comparison.

Great swim website featuring blogs and profiles by many leading swimmers:

The Swim Room

Stay inspired!

Ray

Nastia Liukin Wins Gold – The Affirmation Spot for Friday August 15, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I know what achieving my goal feels like. I know what it smells like and tastes like. I know what achieving my goal looks like and sounds like. I envision my life with my goal attained.” (hear it)

 The last few days the world has seemed more like the 1980s than 2008. The United States and Russia are at odds and irresponsible threats are flying left and right. Hardline leaders in both countries seem to have forgotten the common interest they have – all of humanity has – in their getting along.

Against this backdrop, how much more symbolic of the change we need in our world could Nastia Liukin be? America’s newest female gymnastics gold medalist was born in Moscow and now resides in Parker, Texas. She is a daughter of the Russian motherland and a now proudly represents Team USA.

Her father was an Olympic men’s all-around silver medalist for the former Soviet Union at the Seoul Games in 1988. The Liukin family moved to The United States when Nastia was just two years old.

Liukin joins Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as America’s only female all-around gymnastics champions. Battling fellow-American Shawn Johnson and Yang Yilin of China all night, Liukin was the most consistent in the end.

She solidified her top spot with an amazing routine on balance beam and then closed the deal with a pressure-packed and nearly flawless performance on floor exercise.

Nastia Liukin took gold in an event that everyone will remember forever. She was poised and dignified in victory. More than that she represents the hopes and dreams of two great nations. These nations should take her lead and pursue their greatness in healthy competiton rather than blustery conflict.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.