3 Life lessons from Indian Olympians!
Last night, I was one of the billion fans who started turning blue, holding their breath between each service point of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Badminton
Last night, I was one of the billion fans who started turning blue, holding their breath between each service point of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Badminton Gold medal match. Amidst all the applause, frenzy and excitement, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between those Olympian athletes and us, the entrepreneurs and freelancers of today.
Olympian athletes are entrepreneurs in their own right; they invest their time and money in training their own body. They spend countless hours molding their skills, learning or creating new tricks and strategizing their entire campaign. The only visible difference, however, is that their body is their product, unlike us who need to think of some sustainable, ground-breaking and innovative ideas.
Now that we have established that they belong to our fraternity, I thought it was appropriate to seize the opportunity and learn from the people who are continuously raising the bar in the competition.
Let us look at the 3 entrepreneurship lessons from the world of Olympics:
Lesson 1: Success means being obsessed
Meet P.V. Sindhu, the 21 year old silver medalist who became the first Indian to win Olympic silver in badminton. The obsession of mastering the game made her travel 56 Km on daily basis to train at an academy at unholy hours of 4am.
Be obsessed. Think about what you are planning to accomplish and make it your first and last thought of the day! There will be times when you start questioning your work, your vision and your results. It is in these moments when you should address these obstacles with the “half full” mentality and stay on the course.
Once you start enjoying what you are doing, “smashing” with success will become a child’s play!
Lesson 2: Success means embracing the competition and changing rules of the game
Sakshi Malik, the 23 year old wrestler, ended the Indian medal drought in the 2016 edition of Olympic Games. She had decided quite early to emulate her grandfather and become a wrestler but was faced with one single obstacle – women didn’t wrestle in her society. She decided to wrestle with boys to make her mark and get discovered.
Every entrepreneur dreams of finding that one niche where he or she can dominate. Some manage to find this “Atlantis” and those who do, soon realize that many others have followed them in this quest. Competition helps us learn either from our mistakes or theirs. Competition breeds quality. Competition helps us to bring out a better version of us and soon take the competition back to the competitors. My repeated usage of “Competition” is my way of embracing and “wrestling” the dreaded word!
Lesson 3: Success means recognizing the near win
Before I explain what near win is, let us learn something from Dipa Karmakar, the risky ‘Produnova’ sensation. She lost out on bronze by mere 0.15 points – who said decimals weren’t important! It was not only the performance but also what she said post the games which struck the chord – “It was very close to medal. After four years, my target would be gold”
There are times when you might have narrowly missed out on a contract or lost in a game despite all the hard work. That’s near win! You will also be surprised to see the amount of support which flows in after people see you give your best and get that close. These moments help you reshape your perspective and help target bigger goals. If you are already obsessed with your enterprise and embraced your competition, you will realize that these small failures recharge you to put up another fight.
Learnt something new? You tell me! Once you are determined to rest only after reaching the peak, it takes time, effort and motivation to reach there. But till then, feel free to send me a shout out in the comments and signing off as a true patriot – India For the Win!.
– Ashish Thomas is a senior consultant at Mustardseed Training and Learning Systems. Feel free to check out Mustardseed or write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.