Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. If you don’t know that, you live under a rock. (Or you’re Itxy, who doesn’t watch the Olympics, lol.) He holds the World Record for both the 100m and 200m sprints, so he was in the history books from then. BUT, he etched in name in history on the night of August 19, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by becoming the first human being to ever win 3 Olympic gold sprint medals at three consecutive Olympics.
He’s officially the greatest man alive (as if he wasn’t before.)
For those of you who don’t know – I’m Jamaican. So, I’ve spent the past few days screaming at my television and running around excitedly because my people were on the track being great! We’re such a small country, but we do amazing things.
It was truly inspirational to witness them; especially to see history being made in the form of Usain St. Leo Bolt.
Now, I’m not an athlete. I gave up track after Prep School, because laziness. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t be inspired by what Usain has done. Usain Bolt is a triple-triple Olympic Champion, and here’s an analysis of what his accomplishment taught me about business.
#1: It doesn’t matter where you’re from
Usain Bolt wasn’t born rich, or into a prestigious family. In fact, he’s from a rural area in Trelawny, Jamaica. Similarly in business, nobody cares where you’re from. It’s what you can produce. Usain Bolt just made himself into a walking piece of history, and nobody cares where he started out, it’s just about where he’s ended up.
Conversely, his example shows me that we’re each in total control of our futures. It’s a hard lesson to learn but life doesn’t happen to us, it happens for us. We can get whatever we want out of life if we recognize that we’re the ones in control and act accordingly. That’s easier said than done though.
This leads me to my next point.
#2: Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear
I can imagine that Usain had to get over a lot of fears before making it to where he is now. In his first Olympics, he didn’t even make it to the finals. Compare that with four years later when he shattered the world record and completed his first sprint triple.
Similarly, it’s easy to let fear get the best of us in business and keep us from making key moves that will benefit us in the long run. Maybe we’re afraid to ask for that sponsorship, or maybe we were turned down once before and didn’t want a repeat of the embarrassment. But think about it, Usain sprints in front of millions of people whenever he races. If he had ever succumbed to fear, I’d probably be writing this article about Justin Gatlin. (Thankfully, I’m not.)
#3: Resentment weighs you down; keep it light to move faster
I remember watching this Instagram video Usain posted a few weeks ago, a snippet from an animated short film Gatorade made to chronicle his rise to fame from a regular schoolkid here in Jamaica.
His mother’s advice to him when he was feeling apprehensive about winning was to “keep it light.” I think that’s the best advice ever – including in business. If you ever get so concerned about saving face that you weigh yourself down with worry and anxiety you’ll never ever be successful.
Again, this is easier said than done because I know firsthand how crippling anxiety and worry can be, especially when you’re an entrepreneur and the weight of the world suddenly feels like it’s on your shoulders. Usain’s example just shows me that keeping it light, makes it easier to focus on what’s really important. For him, that’s running at inhuman speeds. For me and you, that’s rocking our businesses.
#4: You’re going to need help along the way
Usain Bolt was interviewed on a popular television show called Profile here in Jamaica. It’s basically an hour long segment comprised entirely of a one-on-one interview with a notable Jamaican figure, done by our award-winning journalist Ian Boyne. Note to all my Jamaican readers, you’ll see me on Profile one day.
ANYWAY, the point I’m making is that on Profile Usain talked about how much his coach has helped to shape him into the athlete he is right now. I can’t help but think that the same applies for us on our path to success – we will never ever realize our full potential without help. We’ll need mentors along the way, and we might find them where we least expect it.
Also, can you imagine a guy like Usain actually doing what somebody else tells him to do? That just goes to show that stubbornness and overconfidence is never synonymous with being successful. We should all listen, even if we don’t like what’s being said.
#4: Work until you’re competing with yourself.
Just by watching Usain’s Olympic performances, it’s easy to tell that he had no real competition. The closest anybody ever came to him, was when Andre De Grasse from Canada attempted to “push him” during the heats. It’s kind of funny that all the guys around Usain seem to be busting their asses off and he’s literally cruising to the finish line, and appears to start jogging about 80 meters in. Like seriously, look at this:
He’s literally having the time of his life.
Now, stop for a moment and think that after completing the Double Triple (winning 3 Olympic sprint titles consecutively) he said to himself, “Well, I’m the best now and I have no real competition – I can stop training.” WELL, he certainly wouldn’t have been able to do it again.
Think of yourself as your biggest competition, and go out of your way to make yourself better every day. If you do that when it comes to perfecting whatever field of business you’re in – you’ll be unstoppable.
#5: History is only kind to those who push themselves to the limit consistently
Usain made history by pushing himself to his limit, time and time again. That’s how it often goes – history makes a record of people who do “superhuman” things. To me, the definition of superhuman is an individual who pushes their limits consistently so they are able to pull off things the average human wouldn’t do, because the average human isn’t willing to devote as much time to their goals.
Nobody cares about the people who almost achieved what they set out to do. Only those who do. Similarly, when it comes to your business goals and creating the future that you desire – nobody will care unless you make it happen. You can only make it happen by pushing yourself to the limit.
#6: Thoughts become things
Usain’s bio on Instagram says, “Anything is possible I don’t think limits.” That my friends, is the key to his success and it is the key to yours too. Your thoughts become things. What happens in your mind is directly proportional to what happens in real life.
A negative mind can never birth a positive life. If the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about what you want to achieve is all the ways it can’t happen, then you’re not going to be able to do it quite frankly.
Again, this is something else that I constantly have to be reminding myself of. Your thought pattern determines how your life turns out.
It’s that simple.
80% of success is achieved in the mind, and guess what?
We’re all Champions.