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Wise Words from Williams: Learning from the Olympics

  • Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London was set ablaze a few days ago for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. We hope our athletes do better in their performance than Presidential contender Mitt Romney did in his performance in London.
Whether you are a Democrat or Republican it was not easy seeing the major newspapers making fun of him. He might not have a position in the U.S. government but right now he is a presidential contender and is a reflection of America.                                                                                                                        
What positive things can we learn from the Olympics? I know most of us are not watching to learn but to be entertained and to cheer on our favorite teams.
Americans love their sports and are passionate in support of their teams. However, if we have ever had a chance to talk to an Olympic athlete we would learn a lot. It is not easy even with great talent to be an Olympic athlete. It takes effort. It takes hard work. It takes sacrifice.
After a while your life revolves around that sport for which you are training. And it starts a long time before you even have a chance to compete or try out for a spot on the team.                                                                                     
I remember listening to one of America’s gold medalist in the figure skating competition at a professional development seminar in New York talk about the rigors of training. I heard words like commitment, dedication, hardwork, and sacrifice.
I learned that when we see them perform on the world stage and we look on in awe and wonder at such breathtaking talent we are only seeing the endpoint. We were told that talent was not enough. It is necessary at that level, even vital, but it is not enough. You have to work on your talent. You have to develop your talent. Your priorities have to be straight.                                                                                                    
Many with the talent were unwilling to pay the price to develop their gifts so they could rise to the level of excellence required as an Olympic athlete. It might not be a word we like to hear, but discipline is an essential ingredient in achieving almost any kind of real success.                                                                          
Is there an area in life in which we would like to make a mark? Identify that area and begin to prepare yourself as best as you can, as rigorously as you are able to, to achieve that goal. Employ discipline. Show dedication. Be willing to make sacrifices. Be committed.
You may not be able to compete in the Olympics but you can learn from the Games.                                                                                                                                               
The Rev. Valentine Williams is the Pastor of Transforming Life Center Church in Pineville, a motivational speaker, seminar/workshop leader, personal development coach, adjunct instructor and the author of Youth Empowered to Succeed. He is also the president of Williams Speaking and Training Services, a people development organization that conducts professional and personal development training and staff development workshops. For questions, comments or speaking engagements contact him at valmyval@yahoo.com.

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