10 Things We Can Learn About Career Success from the Olympians

10 things we can learn about career success from the Olympians
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The Olympics can be inspirational for career success, no matter what our endeavors may be.  The human stories behind the victories are often more moving than the medal-winning.  We can’t help but be motivated towards our own success while watching the achievements of the finest athletes in the world.

Here are ten things we can learn from the Olympians to maximize our career success:

  1. They are incredibly disciplined.

No athlete will make the Olympic team without being far more disciplined than most.  Each athlete has a training regimen, and they stay committed to it, day in and day out.  This trait is a tremendous benefit for career success in any field.

We may never be Olympic athletes, but we can all adopt a more disciplined approach to our own lives.

  1. They stay focused on their goals.

Olympic athletes set definite goals, and they stay focused on them.  Wanting to succeed is not a specific goal.

Setting a concrete goal with a plan and a timeframe for achieving it greatly increases the likelihood of success.  Olympians stay focused and take small steps towards their ultimate goal every day.

For us freelancers, focusing on our goals can be the difference between having a career versus just a series of jobs.

Stay focused.

  1. They make highly effective use of their time.

Olympians know how to make the most efficient use of their time.  Many of them have families and jobs, as well as train for hours each day.  How do they manage that?

They are not time wasters and make the most productive use of their time.

We can all benefit from less procrastination and better time management.  Time wasted can never be retrieved.

  1. They bounce back after failures.

There is no success without failure. Olympians understand this and slog their way past losses, no matter how painful.  And they often have to do it in full view of a worldwide audience.  The ability to move forward after defeats is a hallmark of Olympic athletes.

It takes many of us too long to overcome failure, and we waste precious time wallowing in it when we could be taking the next steps towards our success.

Learn from the Olympians and move on from failures quickly.

  1. They understand teamwork and are team players.

Even individual sports at the Olympics have team components, such as team gymnastics or relay swimming.  Getting to the Olympics in a sport means Olympians are part of a team.

They understand that no one succeeds independently, and it’s beneficial to be an integral part of a team.

We can all use more of that mindset.  Teamwork makes the dream work.  What are you contributing to your team today?

  1. They are passionate about what they’re doing.

Olympians have a love for and dedication to their sports.  Without their passion for the sport, they would burn out long before they ever got to the Olympics.

We all need to incorporate more of that into our own lives.  Do we love what we’re doing in our careers?  If not, how can we change that?

You’ve probably heard the saying that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  Well, you’ll work, but it will be a labor of love rather than an endless grind.

That’s worth working for.  Ask any Olympian.

  1. They are mentally tough.

They can move on from failures and perform under extreme pressure when it counts.  They also have to overcome painful injuries that would have many of us whining for weeks.

Olympians know that there’s no easy road to the level of success they desire, and it’s as much a mental as a physical game to get there.  But they will not be deterred.

We need as much mental toughness as we can muster in our own pursuits.  Look to the Olympians for inspiration.

  1. They get the training they need to succeed.

No athlete can make an Olympic team without a great deal of training.  If you want to learn any skill, you need the training to learn it properly.

Olympians go to the best coaches and trainers in their sports to succeed at the highest level.

We can all take advantage of the courses and seminars in our industry to take us to the next level of career success.  Learning new skills is priceless.

  1. They take care of their bodies.

For athletes to perform at an Olympic level, their bodies need the right fuel.  They know their diets are an essential component of their success that affects their bodies and minds.

We may not be in training for a sport, but we can still give our bodies the healthiest food possible.

Try it and see if your body and mind don’t both improve.

  1. They play the long game.

Olympians are capable of working towards long-term goals that may be years away.  They understand it will take many small steps to get there, but they persevere.

Many other competitors drop out of their sports along the way, but the athletes making Olympic teams keep going.

Many people falter on the way to their long-term goals because they get discouraged by how long it will take or how many obstacles they’ll have to overcome.  Follow the Olympians and keep moving forward, one step at a time.


The Olympians always inspire us with their dedication and skill.  However, we have the opportunity to incorporate some of the qualities they possess into our own lives for our career success.

You’re never too old to learn from an Olympian.





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