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olympics

The closing ceremonies of the 2014 Olympics were Sunday night. Like millions of others, I found myself fascinated by the medal race among the world’s athletes.

Sure, I wanted our American athletes to prevail in Russia. But, knowing how much work, talent and sheer determination goes into getting to and competing in the Olympics, I was happy for each and every medalist.

The experience has to be life-altering for the participants, but there are so many life lessons we can all take away from such an event. In a recent Huffington Post story, Rachel Braun Scherl wrote a compelling piece entitled: “Olympic Life Lessons for Our Children: On and Off the Fields, Rinks, Courts and Tracks.” Her three Olympic Life Lessons are relevant for anyone at any age:

Olympic Life Lesson #1 : If you are lucky, your family is your foundation, your soul and your bedrock. The strength of your spirit (and the strength you get from the love of your family) is just as important as your skill as an athlete. These relationships can feed your soul long after the thrill of an Olympic career has faded.”

(I couldn’t agree more, and am glad to see this lesson at number one.)

Olympic Life Lesson #2 : You have an amazing reserve of strength within you that sometimes might even surprise you. That strength might not always be clearly accessible, but in a clinch, your indomitable spirit can amaze you. Believe that you are capable of greatness. You might never need it in the thrill of Olympic competition, but you will need that confidence in school, in relationships and in your career.”

(I am always amazed at the powerful reserves we have at our disposal – if we just believe in ourselves and our abilities.)

Olympic Life Lesson #3 : When you fall and you are in pain (sometimes literally), you have to find the strength to keep trying. Get back on that springboard, on those skates in that ring, in that challenging situation. And when you get up, you might not win the gold. But you will know that you left everything you had out on the court and have so much to be proud of.”

(I’m a firm believer in the transformative power of failure. Everybody has been down at one time or another. The ultimate winners get back up, make the necessary course corrections and forge ahead.)

Go here, for Ms. Scherl‘s full, inspiring story.