January 25, 2010.
"Every great action is extreme." François de la Rochefoucauld
If you have ever watched the Olympic Games, you've have witnessed some of the planet's most highly skilled competitors doing what they do best. Even if you're not into sports, it's still amazing to see what these incredible world-class athletes can do.
As they soar through the air, zoom around the track or rip down the slopes, the spectacular speed, precision and grace they exhibit on the world-wide stage is truly remarkable.
By what we didn't see is the years of extreme commitment, sacrifice and dedication they put in just to get there; the thousands upon thousands hours of extreme training they endured.
"I would rather feel things in extreme than not at all." Bonnie Raitt
Even when the athlete successfully makes his or her country's Olympic team, the journey has just begun. He or she now must compete with dozens of other athletes from all around the world for that one gold medal.
Yet these athletes give it everything they've got. They hold nothing back. They lay it all on the line each and every day, constantly testing their capabilities right to the edge; constantly pushing right to their ultimate limits - and beyond.
In their quest to be the best, they are willing to take risks.
Even though there are no assurances that they're going to make the team, they push forward. Even though there are no promises they'll ever get to compete at the Games, they pound away. And even though there's no guarantee that they'll ever come close to winning the gold, they go to extreme measures just for the CHANCE.
"It is only through extremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue." Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt
This going for the gold approach is generally deemed too risky, too crazy, and just too 'extreme' in everyday life. After all, most of us figure, why risk it? Why take the chance? Why go for broke and maybe end up... broke? It's better to play it safe. And keep what we've got. Besides, we're not going for the gold anyway.
So it's OK for Olympic caliber athletes to push their talents as far as they can, but the same premise does not hold for the rest of us? It's OK for the Olympic hopeful to dedicate his or her life to excellence but we should shoot for something less; something more attainable, something more believable; something that doesn't require so much work?
I'm not buying.
If we truly want to see how far we can go in life, what we can accomplish, what heights we can attain; we must take the same approach of the Olympic athlete. We must be willing be go to extremes.
"When your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme." Jiminy Cricket
We have to be willing to lay it all on the line, to give it our all; to push ourselves right to the limit. Rather than doing whatever we can just to slide by, we need to adopt the Olympian's mindset and start pushing ourselves to the max... and beyond.
And go to extremes.
We need to give our maximum effort - and then strive to give a little more. We need to shoot for the stars - and then aim a little higher. We need to go as far as we can humanly go - and then push ourselves a little farther.
No more almost doing enough. No more just getting by. No more settling for whatever we can get.
If we're ever going to reach our full potential, we've got to stop holding back. We need to give our best - and give even more. We need to be our best - and get even better. We need to do whatever it takes to get us where we want to go - and go for the gold like our life depends on it.
Because, when you think about it, it really does.
The Bottom Line: When you consistently go to extremes each and every day, you'll start getting extremely good results.
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