High Standards and Hard Work

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The Hallmarks of Success

USA Olympic Logo


The Olympics are going on right now. It is so fun watching it and all of the inspirational stories that each athlete is able to share. It seems many athletes have worked hard to overcome personal trials to get to where they are today. But there is a secret to the whole thing that no one told you…

Everyone has to overcome personal trials. We each know this to be true and can remember times when we struggled with something that went on in our life – especially the things that happened far beyond our control. I don’t think you can easily compare the struggles of one person with another, but no one lives a life of unimpeded comfort and peace devoid of problems. Remember that.

How does one become an olympic athlete? I don’t mean mechanics of excelling at competitions and qualifying for the USA olympic team. I mean, what are they made of? What brings someone to desire to compete at that level even against incredibly difficult and unlikely odds. I think the key ingredient is to that type of success is something neglected by many of us on a daily basis

High Standards

Each one of the olympic athletes knew the odds against them getting to the olympics when they started competing. They undoubtedly encountered injuries and financial setbacks as they decided to compromise their personal and professional lives in order to put their time towards their goal to get to the olympics. Now, not everyone can be an olympic athlete, but consider how your could raise your standards in order to achieve more than you currently can. Here is a list of goals that many people have but are unwilling to achieve:

  1. Lose weight/Get in shape
  2. Save more money
  3. Do well in school/work
  4. Be a better parent/spouse

These are exceptionally general goals. I find that specific goals are better, but they range wildly based on the individual. Here are a few of mine.

  1. Run the Cowtown Marathon in February 2017.
  2. Don’t eat confections until at least December.
  3. Max out tax-advantaged retirement accounts in 2017 (401k, 457, Roth IRAs).
  4. Spend one-on-one time with my kids on a regularly scheduled basis (Fancy Dinners with Dad).

Hard Work

These are a few of my goals for the next 12 months. Some of them seem difficult and others seem like they are long overdue. For the ones that seem difficult and unattainable now, I will apply myself and enlist the help of my family to reach the goals.

When I started losing weight I didn’t realize that people were able to tell a difference in my appearance until suddenly everyone was telling me how much weight I had lost. It was a shocking feeling, but it was also awesome. Simply losing a few pounds of a time turned into a lot of weight. The hard work paid off. Suddenly, staying in shape became what I consider to be one of my high standards. I wasn’t willing to go back to being the overweight person I was just a few months before.

This helped me to learn to love running. Internally I adopted the identity of runner to how I viewed myself. On the days I didn’t feel like running or working out, I still found myself out running because of this internalization. It also brought me to continue to eat healthier. These high standards allowed me to achieve the goals I set for myself.

Olympians are made of high standards and hard work. Determine what your goals are and work hard to achieve them. Then, you can be made of the same thing olympians are made of. You might not win a gold medal, but when you enjoy the sense of high achievement that Teddy Roosevelt talked about, you will feel as though you did.

2 thoughts on “High Standards and Hard Work

  1. The Cynic

    Something else is neglected on a daily basis: periods. You need one at the end of the introduction. Grammar fail.


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