Defining Moments


Image: BBC

So I’ve been quiet for a while. Things have been a little hectic.

Even though I’m a little late on this, 2012 got me thinking.

I was lucky enough to be involved; actually a part of the games and it was an experience I’ll never forget.

It was mad just how much Olympic fever took hold. Sports that people have never even cared about on a day-to-day basis produced now national icons.

I think a huge part of the excitement of the games is it’s a point in time. Obvious statement. But that point in time, where someone’s work for the last 4 or more years either comes good or they fall short is incredible to watch and for me the most captivating aspect of the Olympics.

It’s so much subtler in regular life. There are those crossroads for everyone. The university you chose. The job you took. The mates you kept and the ones you let go. It all blends into this one single path, which has brought you where you are today.

Reflecting on it you can think about times or decisions you made that visibly impacted your path, but for most, none will have such a single point in time as the athletes that captivated us at the games.

It must be terrifying for those athletes. All that training, diet, and psychological training for years which either comes off or doesn’t. In some cases over a matter of seconds. It’s hard to think of a comparative, single defining point in your ‘regular’ life, or perhaps not – Losing a family member. Winning a prize. Getting that promotion. Falling in love.

These are our moments. Our finals.

The difference is that often we won’t truly understand what this means for us, how it changes us, until it’s long gone, blended in with all the other nuances of life. Would it be easier to know? To have that set goal so clearly defined, to understand the impact of your decision.

“Excuse me bud but if you make this decision this will happen and if you make that decision this will happen”

“Brilliant, thanks. I’ll take the left box then.”

It doesn’t happen like that though. We can’t prepare ourselves in the same way, so we take it as it comes, and do what we can to be ready for what we think is coming.

So what’s this got to do with the business? Everything. And nothing. We have a goal but it has no set date. We’re training to get the level of our ability and offering up, but of course working on a training plan that no one has used before. Oh yeh, and we’re trying to invent a new sport (not literally). So when there isn’t that fixed point, that defined time to shine, you have to try and be ready every day. It’s hard. It’s hard to make sure that each and every minute you’re working towards things, especially when you’re not sure what those things are.

Along the way there are some decisions that you need to make and you’ll only ever know if they were right in time. Probably a long time. By which point that little decision or action may well be lost in the ocean that is the past. So you roll with your gut. I wonder if the brain ever gets pissed off at how many people use their stomach for decision making when it’s supposed to be churning food, but ironically, the old stomach does a pretty good job when it comes to the intangibles of complex decision-making.

The athletes that we adored for those 2 weeks are now celebrating a new life, or nursing wounds from losses. That single point in time etched in their mind as a defining moment of glory or sorrow.

Some personal moments that come will feel like they’re an Olympian scale moment. Either because it feels like someone has ripped your heart out or sheer elation at a visible culmination of achievements. But most of the decisions that lead to those defining moments pass us by, blissfully unaware of their cumulative impact on our life.

So I guess make each choice based on if it feels right, even though a lot of the time you don’t know what right is. But as the saying goes, ‘let tomorrow worry about itself’ because really you’ll never know until it’s all said and done.

Thanks for reading.


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