Today we watched the NFL Super Bowl game. I always find the ads interesting. Some are funny and some are strange. But the ones that I remember best are the ones that show the athletes competing in the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea. All of the athletes that I saw on TV today, both in the NFL and those looking forward to the Olympics have one thing in common. They have dedicated hours upon hours and years upon years, working hard to hone their skills on their path to achieving their dreams.
I am impressed by their achievement, but it is their dedication and focus that is inspiring to me. We may never reach the same level of athletic accomplishment in our own life, but each of us can learn from their example. When their stories are told, we learn that they all had moments that were hard. They had times when they wanted to give up, experiences that caused them to doubt themselves and their talents. They even asked themselves, “What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Should I quit?”
We might not be training for international competitions, but it is human nature to have similar thoughts about our own life. The difference with these athletes is that they persevered. They continued on their path towards their goals in-spite of the difficult and discouraging times. That is what is so inspiring about their stories. They didn’t give up.
As I get the opportunity in the next few weeks to watch the Winter Olympics, I will celebrate not only for the ones that get to stand on the podiums and receive their medals, but I will celebrate for the ones that have competed. I will also remember the ones that didn’t get to compete this time, and I will think about the ones that are hoping to be competing in the future. Anyone who dedicates their time and sacrifices to work hard for a goal deserves recognition and commendation.
I do believe that the true winners in life are those who continue on, slogging forward, even when the current outcome isn’t what they originally expected. These stories are the ones that inspire me. They give me hope that I too can work hard, with dedication and sacrifice and accomplish great things. My great things will not be talked about on TV. I am not being interviewed by sportscasters and TV talk-show hosts, but what I do accomplish makes a difference to those that I love. It makes a difference to my community and my friends.
That is why I watch top-level athletes compete. I am inspired to work harder in my own life, no matter what my particular challenge is. How does it make you feel when you see great performances? Does it inspire you too?
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