The intentions were in place, the preparation – both physically and mentally … but why do some athletes who are expected to win gold at the Olympics not “own the podium”.
The answer might lie in the secret of Rule Number Six. In the book, “The Art of Possibility” Benjamin Zander relates a story of conflict which is resolved when one individual admonishes the other with, “Peter, kindly remember Rule Number Six.” It means, “Don’t take yourself so damn seriously.” And the other rules … THERE ARE NO OTHER RULES!
Artists and athletes can put tremendous pressure on themselves to perform “up to expectations” – the big performance in the big concert hall, the final game or final heat on the world stage against the best in the world. Amazingly enough, some of the greatest performances and the world records have occurred when performers are “in the flow” – a state of pure joy. They don’t feel the pressure – they don’t take themselves so seriously.
Still, preparation is essential – both physically and mentally – but there can be “joy” in the big performance. The Olympics represent only part of the big picture – records are broken, lives are changed.
Life is big – so much to live for … and the joy of it all is to enjoy every step of the way. Remember Rule Number Six!