There’s No Tragedy in Focus
I love the Olympics. Every four years I’m thrilled to watch the world’s best athletes converge and compete at the highest level for the ultimate prize of being crowned Olympic champion and the right to be called “the best in the world.”
What fascinates me; however, is when an athlete falls short of winning a medal and misses the podium. The announcers and fans sound disappointed and lament that a particular athlete spent his/her entire life preparing for that Olympic moment and will return home empty handed. Their words and tone make it sound as if anything short of Olympic gold is utter failure, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I hear the word, “sacrifice”, a lot during the Olympics. I heard one commentary about a particular gymnast and a laundry list of all the activities she missed while she trained to be the best in the world. She missed school dances, ball games, and time with her friends. I laughed at that statement, because I would say she didn’t miss anything, because she was pursuing something great and in that pursuit she discovered herself. Life is about discovery and the path you take towards that discovery is less relevant than the discovery itself.
“Focus”, is a word we often hear connected with people of success and rightfully so, as focus is what it takes to be a success. I recently discovered a fascinating statistic about people and their lives. I learned that 90% of us will never do what we were born to do in life. That is the true tragedy in life, not losing out on an Olympic medal after a lifetime of training and focus. I would ask, who truly lost more? Does the man that never takes a chance and settles on a life of mediocrity, and fails to discover his limitations or possibilities of his life lose more than the Olympian that places 4th in her event, giving it everything’s she got and learning what it takes to reach the pinnacle of her chosen discipline? You chose.
Losing hurts, but failing to live within your purpose hurts a lot more. I’ve seen the blank stares in people as they drone on with their lives, never fully living, and just experiencing life on the fringes. Being focused on something you were meant to do, while turning away other opportunities is part of living and should never be viewed as tragic.
I’ve learned that being focused brings opportunity. At this point in my life, I’m being forced to choose between “good” things and “great” things. It feels good and also daunting. I force myself to remain focused and remind myself what I was created to do. I’m giving up things in my life so that I can remain aligned with what God created me to be in this world. I’m not an Olympian, but I’m living my life on purpose and choose “focus” as my weapon of choice. I choose to live on purpose. How about you?