Olympics 2012 is in town and has been around for about eleven days. Actually if you live in London it has been in town for a lot longer. We’ve been part of or have been forced to be part of the Olympics preparation for a long time now. The athletes have finally arrived; the awesome Opening Ceremony – well done, Danny Boyle and the volunteers – and the events are taking place.
For the none-sporty types a few of the athletes seemed to have come out of nowhere, for others in the know, these athletes have been around for years; toiling away, practising their craft. I remember watching the 100m men’s athletics in Beijing 2008 and watching Usain Bolt dazzle everyone. I, like everyone else, was gobsmacked and I remember thinking ‘where the hell did he come from?’ ‘How is that I’ve never heard of this athlete?’ I remember watching all the races that Bolt was in and being amazed by his athleticism. But after doing a bit of research on him (yes, I was that fascinated) I realised that just because I hadn’t heard of him didn’t mean that he just appeared out of nowhere. Just because I was completely oblivious to his existence before Beijing 2008 didn’t mean that years prior to the Olympics he hadn’t been toiling away at various training camps, training more hours than I sleep, sacrificing so much on a daily basis to achieve his Olympic dream and ultimately doing just that.
The determination, the tenacity and the literal ‘blood, sweat and tears’ that it takes to be an Olympian irrespective of the medals is incredibly vast and I’m sure it has to be an insult to these athletes to say ‘they just appeared out of nowhere’.
I suppose to a certain extent it’s the same thing with entrepreneurs, actors/actresses, artists, etc. The public only notices the ‘event’ – when their business/career/movie/song becomes big in the public domain. And most of us think that they came out of nowhere, some of us may even become envious. We fail to acknowledge the process that they went through to get to the event. The process of working stupid hours, through the night, knocking on countless doors, the rejections, the sneers; the process of wearing so many hats – director, errand person, telephonist, PR person, cheerleader and so much more to keep the dream alive.
The public thinks that the event just happened…overnight. Lasting success NEVER happens overnight. The process, the preparation makes the event, without the process there is no event. So I respect every athlete, every entrepreneur, career climber, artist and everyone who is working at improving themselves and their craft, whether or not you are in the public eye. If your event has happened, I respect the process that you went through to make your event happen. And if it hasn’t, don’t worry it will happen as long as you don’t give up…