Wayne Gretzky at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
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1. Ceremony: The opening ceremonies in Vancouver were breathtaking and spectacular (as was also true with the Summer Olympic Games in China in 2008 and with most of the Olympic Games opening ceremonies of the past few decades). Beyond the amazing technology, creativity and spectacle of these ceremonies, there is a deeper commitment to beauty, ritual and reverence. The Olympic Games are also filled with ceremonies throughout—medal ceremonies, the closing ceremonies and more. For us to live lives of meaning, purpose and spirit, it's essential that we honor ourselves, others and life in a ceremonious way.

2. Excellence: The Olympic Games, as much as any other sporting event, are all about excellence. The intense training, incredible competition and extraordinary pressure of having to focus a lifetime's worth of experience into one single performance create an authentic sense of drama that is unique and exciting, albeit nerve-wracking. However, when we think of excellence in regards to the Olympic Games or other things in life, we often think about winning. While there's nothing wrong with winning, and our culture puts a high value on it (just look at the attention and adulation giving to the gold-medal winners in Vancouver), there is much more to real excellence than simply winning. Every athlete in Vancouver has made a commitment to excellence—even though the vast majority of them will not win medals and we'll never even know their names. On our own path, it's important for us to make a commitment to excellence—to go for it, dig down deep and give it our best shot—whether or not we end up winning. 

3. Passion: The Olympic Games are filled with passion—from the athletes, the host city and the fans—in person and around the world. The emotions experienced and expressed during the Olympic Games are intense and passionate. We've seen the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat on display each and every day. It's this passion that makes the Olympic Games so intriguing, exciting and fun to experience. In our own lives and on our own journeys, passion is a key component to growth, success and fulfillment. So often we hold back our passion, waiting to see how things will turn out. However, to live life with depth, purpose and aliveness, we have to tap into our passion in an authentic way and use it as inspiration, regardless of the outcome.

One of the greatest things about the Olympic Games

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