Career Success: Think Like an Olympic Athlete
by Martha Li
published July 26, 2012
rating: (20 Ratings)
How to have a gold medal-winning career
Want to take your career to the next level? Perhaps it’s time to take lessons from Olympic athletes. They have rigorous training schedules, and in addition to the physical training, there is also a lot of mental preparation in getting ready to compete. Here are four rules athletes abide by, which can also be applied to career success in the corporate world.
1. Have a strong commitment. Olympic athletes train for four years for their one chance to compete at the Games and bring home the gold. This is a testament to their work ethic and the discipline they have for their sport. Similarly, if you want to develop or improve a particular job skill, then seek out what needs to be done in order to do so, such as acquiring the proper training.
2. Track your performance. Benchmarks are what athletes use to measure how they are doing at their sport, so that they are aware of their current and potential capabilities. For example, if a track and field sprint athlete was able to run 100 metres in 10 seconds, she could then use this metric as a point of reference to how much faster she could run. In your career, set a benchmark for your own performance, such as a certain sales target you’ve reached, so that you have a measurable way to meet, and work at exceeding your personal standard.
3. Don’t dwell on past failures (or successes). Athletes tend to concentrate on their next immediate competition, putting past performances, good or bad, behind them. For them, what is most critical is getting psyched and ready for the challenge of the moment. At your job, while it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back for successes and learn from mistakes, focus on the objective at-hand rather than ruminating over the past.
4. Be passionate about your “sport”. In the end, it’s passion that fuels an athlete’s drive to compete. The same goes for you in your job. If you’re not passionate about your work, you won’t be able to achieve your peak performance level. So be sure to love what you do: being at the top of your game will always be a goal you’ll be focused on.
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