This past fall Carol and I took a couple of weeks to celebrate 30 years of marriage. While traveling we visited ancient Olympia. This is where the first Olympics were held. They took place every four years from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D.
The athletes actually had some amazing facilities for their time. This was before electricity and running water to be sure, but ingenuity ruled the day. There was an indoor gymnasium, an outdoor stadium with a track, and bath houses. Also, there was a temple to Zeus right in the middle of the sports complex.
The early games consisted of events like running, wrestling, and horse and chariot races. In today’s Olympics the site changes every four years, and athletes come from all over the world.
When they show up it is typically to participate in only ONE event. The fact is, it is very difficult to compete and excel in multiple sports. Swimmers swim and runners run. Ice skaters skate. And if the ice skaters decided to run, they would be considered failures. But as long as they skate, no one will notice that they cannot run very well. Stick to their ONE thing, and they look exceptional.
We admire people who have chosen to excel in ONE thing, yet we fall into the trap thinking that we can excel in several things.
As great an athlete as Michael Jordan was he never could excel at baseball, even in the Minor Leagues. So he wisely decided to stick with his ONE thing, basketball.
Now you may be asking, What is my ONE thing?
This is not an easy question to answer. It involves a number of things like honesty, clarity, understanding, choices, and time. There is no magic formula.
Olympians get this. Think about it.
1. Honesty: They start out being very honest about their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Clarity: That brings clarity as to what they will work on. Hint-It’s not their weaknesses.
3. Understanding: Over time they understand how to excel, improve, and increase their skill level.
4. Choices: They learn to say yes to some things and no to others. It may be saying no to TV and yes to fruits and vegetables. Those are hard choices for many, but not Olympians.
5. Time: In due time others notice their high level of skill, sponsors step in, and their journey to the Olympics begins.
These five things do not represent five easy steps. They simply illustrate that sometimes finding your ONE thing is not as easy as it sounds. But it also illustrates that you can begin the journey.
What’s your ONE thing? Why not start the journey today?
I am Mike Henderson, speaker, author, husband of my best friend, proud father of 5, and grandfather of 4. I like to hike with my wife, golf with my kids, travel, read books, and start new projects. My purpose for this blog is to help people and to give people hope.