I admit it. I love the Olympics. Yes, too much money is spent on them (but then I think too much money is spent on professional sports and entertainment, too). Still, the Olympics do something that nothing else has ever accomplished. For seventeen days they bring the world together in peace, focused on the single goal of excellence.
The official opening ceremonies for the XXI Winter Olympiad were last night in Vancouver, Canada, and my family and I were glued to the television for the duration. There were 60,000 people in BC Place listening to introductions, speeches, and great Canadian entertainment complete with awesome special effects. But, as always, the lighting of the Olympic cauldron was the highlight for me. I’m emotional about it. That flame coming to us all the way from Athens, Greece via 45,000 km of Canadian communities in the hands of 12,000 torchbearers symbolizes so much.
There are places on the Internet where you can find all the details about who participated, read about the tragic death of Georgian Luger Nodar Kumaritashvili during a practise run, hear commentaries about how the fourth beam of the cauldron’s support structure malfunctioned, and check the results of today’s events. At this moment, however, I’m looking at what all the dedication, determination, and perseverance has achieved, and what it could mean if applied to our writing.
If we had that kind of dedication to our goals, if we were determined to write our very best, finish what we started, work with single-mindedness towards publication, might we fight past the obstacles instead of letting them defeat us? Would we discipline ourselves to utilize better work habits, and refuse to be deflected from precious writing time or be discouraged by repeated rejections?
If you approached your writing with the attitude of an Olympic athlete in training, focused on success, what difference do you think it would it make?
[Image photographed from TV coverage courtesy of TSN]