THE BLOG
08/02/2012 11:23 am ET Updated Oct 02, 2012

Are You an Olympic Hero?

Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament.
It punished them for "not using one's best efforts to win a match".

"We applaud the federation for having taken swift and decisive action," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "Such behavior is incompatible with the Olympic values."

How about you?

Do we embody Olympic values in our lives?

Millions in the world are watching the Olympics. We are rooting for our home teams and rejoice in the heroics of the athletes.

Yet, as Nike made famous many years ago, the Olympic Games are a moment to reflect on the motto -- Life is not a Spectator Sport.

Every four years, nations from all over the globe bring their best and say. "Here is what we can become." We are drawn to Olympics for we intuitively sense the majesty and glory of human achievement. Whether in basketball, gymnastics, synchronized swimming or track and field we are in awe of the Olympians' dedication, skill and excellence. We celebrate their efforts at achieving their potential... every day.

In truth, their model can serve as an inspiration of us. We can all be Olympians in our own fields and our own games. In one of my favorite books, Personal Best, Dr. George Sheehan remarks," Life is a positive sum game... everyone from the gold medalist to the last finisher can rejoice in personal victory. Heroism is ever available and in fact, it is through ordinary experiences that ordinary man can become extraordinary."

As Danish philosopher Soren Keirkegaard wrote, "Heroism means being great in what every human can be great in -- simply doing the best we can."

What are four elements for achieving our personal best, our gold medal?

The acronym G.O.L.D encapsulates the answer.

Goals -- Clearly identify your core values and mission. Single minded focus on our goals will enable us to prioritize our time and talents to realize our dreams.

Opportunities -- Training for the Olympics presents challenges and risks. In life, we are faced with adversity and the fear of failure. Yet, if the goal is noble, we will be blessed with an inner strength and fortitude to transform the obstacles into opportunities. As Joseph Campbell remarked, "The cave you most fear contains the greatest treasure." ()

Love -- Pursue Your Goals with Passion and Emotional Engagement. If we love what we do, we will not be working a day in our lives.

Daily Investments -- Greatness is not achieved through once a week or monthly devotion. Olympic athletes design every day with GOLD in mind. If we want to become a better parent, spouse, or child, it requires ongoing effort and action.

The road to greatness is indeed hard labor. Like Olympians, we experience fatigue and pain. We wonder whether our efforts are worth it. Yet, we will also be rewarded with the best gold medal of all. We will know that in our lives we gave ourselves, our loved ones, our community and the world our very best!