LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2014) - Cheering for a favorite Olympian to succeed or feeling the intense emotion of witnessing an underdog step onto the medal stand makes for an energizing evening of television. But according to motivational author and speaker, Shawn Anderson, there is much more than just a night of inspiration that can be gained by watching these success-driven athletes.
"An Olympic athlete is one of the highest examples of what can happen when a person stays dedicated to a mission," Anderson says. "Much more than inspiring entertainment, the Olympics offer a number of life-changing reminders that can empower us to create more of what we want in our own lives as well."
Here are eight secrets to success that Olympians possess, according to Anderson, that we can embrace in order to achieve our own personal goals:
1. Olympians have unstoppable purpose. Olympians know what they want, and they are passionate in their pursuit of going after it. Injury might sideline them occasionally and a bad performance might spark negative comments, but nothing hijacks the ultimate goal. Three-time Gold medal winner Florence Griffith Joyner says, "When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more."
2. Olympians make every day count. Olympians recognize that time is limited, and they are disciplined in working as hard as they can each day. Many athletes plan their training schedule up to four years in advance to make sure they reach specific performance goals.
3. Olympians don't make excuses. Olympians focus on reasons why they "can" and not why they "can't." Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn didn't let the excuse of age stop him from winning Olympic gold at the age of 60. Even at 72, Oscar competed in the 1920 Olympics.
4. Olympians link up with others. Olympians connect with the best coaches in order to fully develop their talents. At age 14, 2012 gold medal winner Gabby Douglas left the security of home for two years to train with one of the best gymnastic coaches in the world.
5. Olympians grow "good" from "bad." Olympians know that they have a choice in how to respond to every event or occurrence. At age 4, Wilma Rudolph was diagnosed with a crippling disease that made her unable to walk. At age 8, she walked with braces. At age 20, she won three Gold medals and was called "The Fastest Woman in the World."
6. Olympians try harder. Directing all their efforts toward success, Olympians give their goal everything they have. Swimming world record holder Janet Evans swam ten miles per day (330 lengths of an Olympic size-pool), six days a week in order to return to the Olympics for another time.
7. Olympians believe "better" always exists. Olympians believe they can jump higher, run faster and get stronger. America Skeet shooter Kimberly Rhode had medaled in four previous Olympics. In 2012, she won again...this time setting an Olympic record by hitting 99 out of 100 targets.
8. Olympians don't quit on themselves. Olympians recognize defeat as a necessary obstacle to overcome in order to find eventual victory. Dan Jansen was favored to win speed skating Gold in 1988, but on race day, Dan's sister died. He later fell on the ice missing out on medaling. Never quitting, Jansen came back two Olympics later and won his Gold.
"If your dream is important to you, put in an Olympic-like effort to achieve it," Anderson says. "When you fall on the ice...get back up. When you get inched out for a job...go the extra mile and move forward with even greater passion."
The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Anderson is also a leading spokesperson on the power of "going the extra mile." Last year, his Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities in all 50 states to declare 11/1/13 as "Extra Mile Day"... a day to recognize the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we "go the extra mile."
"Watching others succeed in the Olympics is fun...no doubt," Anderson says. "But when we get only one life, why not try achieving our own Olympic-like success?"