01/11/2010 04:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Greatest Lesson I Learned from My Idol 5X Olympic Gold Medalist Bonnie Blair


As you read my blogs, keep in mind that these stories, anecdotes and tools are all based around my philosophy for success: THE TURTLE EFFECT. The Turtle Effect was taught to me by my mother when I was a young girl. She told me that I could achieve anything I wanted to as long as I remembered to have a soft inside, a hard shell, and be sure to stick my neck out. I hope this amazing anecdote will inspire you on that path to find your "hard shell" in order to reach your goals....

To be successful, you need to...

Have a hard shell... Make Sure You Are Focused

It's the process, not the results

Nikki's Perspective: Speedskating champion Bonnie Blair has always been an athlete I've looked up to. Over the years, I've gotten to know her quite well as a friend and colleague, and my respect for her has only grown. One lesson I've learned from Bonnie is that the journey is much more important than the end result. We were once talking about the greatest contest each of us had faced. Most people would assume that hers had to do with winning one of her five Olympic gold medals in speedskating. But not Bonnie. She told me she's most proud of a competition where she finished in fourth place. At that important event, she made key improvements that helped set the stage for many of her future accomplishments...including her five Olympic gold medals.

Your Tools for Success: We need to learn to live in the moment and concentrate on what we have control over. And that's the process, not the end results. For example, we can't control someone else's impression of our work; we can only control what we produce.

Try to complete a task or project today as well as you can--without looking at others for approval. Can you bring something to fruition without worrying about the outcome? If you do feel you have to see your "results", compare them to your own past efforts rather than to what someone else has achieved.

Remember, we can't control someone else's process, only our own.