As the drama of the Olympic Games unfolds, gold medals are highlighted, but listen to the individual stories of hard work and sacrifice that weave the tapestry of the competition.
For every medal that is won, hundreds are lost. Picture the competitors that train for 4 years, yet come up empty. How do they define their Olympic experience?
Personally I see the parallel as an entrepreneur.
For every book written and success story covered by journalists, there are thousands of failures.
How do you define success? Is it based on money earned? Influence spread? Popularity?
Only you can determine that. Sometimes starting at the end gives us perspective. For example, I remember a graphic on a tombstone that asked the question, "Title or Testimony?" Ponder that. Ultimately, what do you want to be remembered for?
According to Dan Pink, we strive for purpose, autonomy and mastery, yet what's your story?
Just because you didn't win, doesn't mean you're a loser.
Just because you're not where you want to be career-wise, doesn't make you a failure.
Just because you didn't meet your expectations, doesn't mean you underachieved.
Hard work doesn't always equal your desired results, but without it you don't stand a chance.
If life is a journey, you won't always get what you want. Even with the right process, the product doesn't always match up. I believe your ability to cope with unfavorable circumstances determines your worldview. What matters is how you deal with adversity. When you get knocked down, how quickly do you get back up?