We’re one day away from the end of August and summer is at its temporal peak. Kids are racing back to school hoping to return to their friends — and probably their procrastinating ways.
As we enter a transitional point in the year, I'm sitting on the couch watching the Olympics.
Don't get me wrong, watching a ceremony that happens every four years is amazing, especially since it's different each time. But there comes a point when we should stop being in awe of these amazing individuals, and begin to be inspired by their dedication and commitment.
Instead of creating memes of our heroes doing what makes them heroic, we should take that same energy and practice on our individual track and field, by becoming the world’s greatest at our specific niches.
Isn't it crazy there's an Olympic gold medal for race-walking?
There’s a gold medal for everything, which means there is a gold medal with your name carved into the center of that medallion.But it won’t come to you until you work hard enough to stand on that podium head and shoulders above all else. But how do we get there? Here are a few tips for anyone chasing the Olympic gold:
1. Seek Out a Mentor
To become a world-class anything you must be a full-time student. The moment you stop learning is the moment you become stagnant or enter into rapid decline. It is imperative for you to find someone who has more experience than you so you can improve on the areas you didn't even know you needed to master. Even Michael Phelps has a swim coach.
2. Surround Yourself with Talent
I was told by a good friend that if you want to get somewhere fast, travel alone. But if you want to go somewhere far, you travel with a team. Surrounding yourself with people who want to achieve just as much as you is key.
Your environment has to be conducive to growth and exploration. The Simone Biles of the world would only be YMCA superstars if they only surrounded themselves with lesser talent and slackers.
Create an ecosystem of individuals who will constantly push you to be the greatest version of yourself.
3. Control What You Consume
All living creatures inhabiting the earth must consume energy to maintain their existence. Most Olympians use large amounts of healthy food as a source energy to get them through grueling training session.
As a creative it's important you are micromanaging your your consumption, in order to steer away from the junk we are prone to click on when scrolling through news feed.
Do you really need to watch all of the Snapchat stories on your feed, or do you need to finish the novel you started a year ago?
Consuming is often as mentally draining as creating. Where are you putting your energy? The choice is yours.
4. Focus on Your Race
Staying in your lane literally and figuratively is the most important thing you can do. Horses wear blinders for this purpose — it allows them to eliminate their peripheral vision, and you should to.
The worst thing to ever happen to the creative mind is over-thinking. Creating false realities, depicting everyone around you as better or further along than you, will only hurt your focus. Keeping your ten toes down and within YOUR lane is crucial in winning YOUR race.
There is a time and place for everything but rarely enough time to ever look over your shoulder. Stay focused on your race. We were all created equally but not identically. Everyone's journey is different, so embrace yours.
5. Stand for Something
The Olympics holds a special place in our hearts because we are watching our generation's greatest athletes sacrifice their bodies, minds, and souls. Not only for personal glory, but for their country.
You may not be ready to work a 24 hour day or put away the drinks and parties because you don't know what you're sacrificing for.
Take a full day out of your busy week to truly figure out what you want in life. What gives you fulfilment? What wakes you up in the morning? Why is the world a better place when you are following your passions? What community can I join or create to intensify this fulfillment?
Become apart of something greater than yourself so when the days of doubt and sadness creep into your mind you will be reminded of why quitting is not an option.
These are five lessons I learned from the 2016 Rio Olympics. If you learned anything else, or agree with anything I've said, please comment, like, and share this post with your community of creatives.