Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Usain Bolt: The heart of a lion

Three lessons in career success from a 'living legend'

Published: Daily Gleaner | Wednesday | August 15,
 by Glenford Smith, Career Writer
"If I dominate the Olympics, I'll be a living legend. A living legend walking around. Sounds good," said double Olympic record holder Usain Bolt in the pre-Olympic exclusive BBC Sports documentary by French producer/director Gael Leiblang.
Well, apart from International Olympic Committee president, Jacques Rogge, at least initially, the world got the news, Mr Bolt: You are now a living legend, walking around!
In the eyes of many, Bolt was already a living legend after his 2008 Beijing Olympic exploits. Retaining his 100m and 200m sprint titles at the London Games can leave no doubt in anyone's mind. A legend is defined as an extraordinarily famous or notable person - need I say more?
Bolt had to overcome doubters, haters and critics - constructive and otherwise - to achieve his unprecedented feat. He had to transcend negative public speculations and perhaps personal doubts after his unexpected double loss to training partner Yohan Blake at the Jamaica Olympic trials. And he did.
And in the process, Usain St Leo Bolt showed the true heart of lion, and gave us the following amazing lessons for succeeding in our careers.
Bolt set his goal to be a living legend. And he declared it to the world. The biggest mistake most people make is not having compelling goals. They don't believe they can attain great things and simply settle for mediocrity.
You may not see how you'll achieve them as yet, but have great aspirations for your career and your life, nonetheless. Decide what kind of job you truly desire. Set a goal for how much money you want to make. Be specific. Set milestones to measure your progress. Set a target date for success.
Usain Bolt's self-confidence has been mischaracterised as arrogance and 'showboating' by some. In my view, these misguided people are trumpeting the gospel of false modesty under the guise of promoting humility. Don't buy into this.
To be your best and do your best, you must believe you can. While always being open to learn from others, never let anyone ridicule your dreams and tell you: 'You? You can't be a doctor!'; 'Who do you think you are?'; or 'Be realistic; that's not possible'.
Believe in your power to excel and make a difference. Bolt is a winner because he never lost faith in himself.
Bolt has said repeatedly that he is lazy. He likes to party and enjoy himself. He hates the discipline of practice and maintains no dietary regimen.
Here's the thing though: Once his coach says it's time to buckle down, he gets really serious. He stops partying. Women are put on hold. And he becomes a workhorse. In short, Bolt does whatever it takes to win. He pays the price for his success.
You must do the same. Unless you can sacrifice; unless you can develop the discipline to study, practise and grow, you can't succeed big.
The price for success is temporary failure, embarrassment, struggle, patience and incredibly hard work.
Join the ranks of rare individuals, like Bolt, who willingly pay the high price of success.
It's worth it.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of a new book 'From Problems to Power: How to Win Over Worry and Turn Your Obstacles into Opportunities'.
If you can't win, make the fellow ahead of you break the record.
- Unknown

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