Go for the GOLD!
A phrase that I believe resonates across most if not all modern cultures and languages, and ultimately translates into doing your best – going the extra mile – pushing yourself to the limit.
Olympic athletes (for the most part) are great examples of this philosophy. They train – long and hard and often lonely hours – for that one moment when they can compete against others who have done the same. Listen to the best of them speak – even if they win nothing, the experience, the opportunity, the sheer exhilaration of being there – makes them winners. And for long years after, they know that just “Going for the Gold” was in and of itself a major achievement and not shared by many.
And by the way, the growing number of people – all over the world – who participate in marathons and triathlons of all sorts and lengths is testimony to this point. Ask the average runner why they participate, why they train….
And there are as many examples from the non-sports world as well. The kind of people we call saints and heroes fit this mold as do those who quietly, every day, overcome major obstacles and barriers that others would find insurmountable.
Personally, I have a need for heroes. I need the inspiration of those who “Go for the Gold” by giving it their all – selflessly, tirelessly – day in and day out – and who do so because they know no other way. To do less would be to give in, to give up. So to all my heroes…thank you.
Yet, truthfully – some have taken the meaning in another direction – win at all costs. Go for the Gold. Grab that ring or medal and do whatever you want as opposed to whatever you can. The ends justify the means and when you have the gold, who will remember how you did it – or maybe even, who will ever find out how you did it.
Sadly – there are no lack of examples to prove this point. Athletes who dope or otherwise cheat to make their accomplishments bigger than they would be if they competed clean; financial types who have no real business acumen other than stealing and swindling; people who lie or deliberately hurt others to stay ahead of the game; and those who manipulate situations with no care of the consequences to others so long as they win…whatever “win” means to them.
Dan Gable was an Olympic athlete. A gold medal winner. He was a wrestler with one of the best records ever recorded in the sport, and then became a coach and motivational speaker. He is famous for his standards of conduct and behavior.
“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”
There are no shortcuts to the real thing. There are no simple pathways, Gold Medals for Dummies books or shots or pills that can make you a real, true hero – although they might get you that moment of fleeting and false glory on the podium.
What there is defies the dopers and slackers – it eludes them – because they don’t really have the talent. What they have is the greed for gold and not the real desire to be a winner – nor, more importantly, the true heart to be a hero.
Forgive me for adding another quote but I am passionate about this topic and passionate about the next source.
Listen to another:
“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.”
Ray Rubicam, the founder of Young and Rubicam, called this Resist the Usual. Going for the gold medal is easy – it’s the usual. Going for the Gold isn’t.
It’s my heroes who help me – inspire me – people like Danny and Corey to name just two (no last names – these are my heroes – feel free to share yours). Find a hero. Resist The Usual and Go for the Gold and who knows – you might even win a medal along the way, not to mention find or even make a hero.
What do you think?