What I Learned From Michael Phelps at the London Olympic Games – Never Coast to the Finish Line!

Michael Phelps after losing the 200m butterfly

Although he won a Gold medal on Tuesday in the 4x200m relay and now has 19 Olympic medals, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed by Michael Phelps’ loss to South African swimmer, Chad le Clos in the 200m butterfly.  Sure, he got a silver medal, but that is not what this guy went there to do.  He went there to be the best, and his final coasting in to what he probably thought was a sure thing is exactly the OPPOSITE of what inspires me every day I get out of bed.  I want to continue to be successful and I want my company to stay on top, but I know that we can’t be successful if we just coast through.

Ultimately, as a representative of the United States, Phelps kind of displayed where we are as a country–a once-great nation in the decline–more from complacency and gluttony and less inspired these days to claw our way every stroke to the finish line.

Okay, I know I’m being too hard on Michael.  He’s a top-performing athlete, and he does have an intense desire to win.  To put the “Fall of the Roman Empire” kind of blame on his shoulders is preposterous, of course.  Who knows, maybe he wasn’t feeling well or something.

I was a bit miffed is all.  I wanted the guy to win, and it seems as if I have no one to blame, just that the other guy you know, the winner)–was the better swimmer.

Lesson learned: No matter how apex you are in the game, your competition may have more resources, connections, capital, or just plain more drive to win.  Don’t ever coast.

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