Friday, August 29, 2008

Interesting Newsletter

Found this newsletter that I think is good.

Hi! And how are you all? Like most of you, I spent the last three
weeks 'parked' in front of my television, watching in awe at the
sporting spectacle that took place at the Beijing Olympics. As I was
watching these world class athletes perform, I could not help but come
to the conclusion that what we saw was just the tip of the iceberg
i.e. we saw the performance but not the grueling training regime that
each and every one of them must have undergone to ensure that they
were in peak condition during the Olympics. All of these dedicated
athletes had to make a lot of sacrifices in terms of time, their
social life, effort etc in their single-mindedness to take part in
this glorious once in four year sporting event.

Among this elite crowd, the one individual who stood head over
shoulders above the rest was Michael Phelps. At 23, Michael Phelps
has become an international sporting sensation by winning eight gold
medals and smashing seven world records in the process. He is also the
first athlete ever to secure first place so many times at a single

The path to success for Michael Phelps was however not a smooth one.

• At the age of seven Michael was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a childhood condition characterized by
constant activity, impulsive behavior and the inability to focus one's
attention on anything for a short span of time. To help release his
pent-up energy, Phelps took up swimming.

• At the age of nine, Michael's parents divorced. His mother brought
up all three children (two sisters) single-handedly, encouraging them
to follow their dreams at all costs.

• In 2004, Phelps, then 19, was arrested for driving under the
influence of alcohol. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months
probation, saying in court, "I recognize the seriousness of this
mistake and will continue learning from this mistake for the rest of
my life."

The reason I am telling you all this instead of glorifying his
achievements, is to state that success was not handed on a silver
platter to Michael. He like the rest of us has had his share of
setbacks in life. In spite of all these however, he went on to become
the supreme champion that he is currently. I believe there is much
that we can learn from the success of Michael Phelps. Some of them

Setbacks are part of life and winners get on with it. In spite of the
many setbacks early in his life, Michael bounced back every time and
used these setbacks as building blocks to achieving more success. He
never ever allowed these setbacks to become obstacles or excuses in
his quest for swimming success. Like him, we must realize that
setbacks are part of nature's way of making us all stronger. Using an
analogy, we are all like a flame in the wind; some people use the wind
to make their flame get bigger, whilst others blame the wind for
blowing out their flame. Winners like Michael, always choose the

Dream big! Don't let anyone tell you your goal is impossible. Imagine
if Michael had told people a few years ago that he wanted to win eight
gold medals at the Olympics. What do you think would have been their
reaction! Yes, I am sure skepticism! If he had listened to these
cynics, we would have been deprived of seeing his world class
performances. He not only had big goals; he was totally focused and
committed to it. In management we must all learn to shoot for the
stars and maybe we will at least hit the moon! Never ever listen to
the cynics. It is always in their interest not to see other people

Use failures and cynics to motivate you. At the Athens Olympics in
2004, Phelps was beaten by teammate Ian Crocker in the 100m butterfly.
Instead of allowing this event to demoralize him, he used it as a
source of inspiration to become even better. He put up a poster of
Crocker winning the event in his bedroom to constantly motivate him to
train even harder in the event. Another thing that motivated Michael
was Ian Thorpe's (the great Australian swimmer who won five gold
medals at the Athens Olympics) statement that he thought winning eight
gold medals was 'unattainable'. Michael stuck a note with Thorpe's
statement on his locker to be used as a constant source of motivation.
We all need to be motivated. What better way than to prove the cynics
wrong or else to use our past failures to drive us to future success!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I do hope that I have in
a way motivated you to go out there to achieve your life's goals. Take
decisive action now!!! And have a great month ahead!

If you like this and think your friends will like it too, please feel
free to forward this and they can subscribe by emailing to

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Heera Singh
Principal Consultant
HEERA Training and Management Consultancy
HP 0126083708

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