Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images
4. Play: One of the greatest things about the Olympic Games is that they are called "games." This is a wonderful metaphor that reminds us that while sports (and life) can be intense and pressure-filled, they are really just games we are playing. The games played at the Olympic Games, not unlike in many aspects of our own lives, are played at a pretty high level and are done so with fairly high stakes. But, at the end of the day, they are all just games. Each athlete in Vancouver started in their sport as a child because it was fun, not because they wanted to win gold medals, be on TV or get big endorsement deals. This is a great reminder for all of us. We often get so serious, we forget to play. Spiritually, play is essential. Scientific studies have shown that the same brain waves are generated in a high state of play as in a high state of prayer or meditation.
5. Unity: The athletes at the Olympic Games come together to represent their countries and to compete for something bigger than themselves. I had the privilege of playing for the U.S. baseball team in the World Championships when I was 18 years old. It was one of the greatest honors of my life and such a profound experience. Even though the Olympic Games has a big focus (especially by the media) on individual performances as well as country competition (i.e., medal count), at the deepest level, the Olympic Games are about a greater sense of unity among all nations. There is a sense of mutual respect, admiration and appreciation that exists at the Olympic Games—both with athletes and fans. I felt it on the streets of Atlanta and in Sydney when I was there, and I see it on TV whenever I watch the Olympic Games now. They provide a stage for the world to engage, compete and interact with one another in a beautiful way. One of the most important elements of our personal and spiritual journeys is to recognize that we are more alike than we are different. Those whom we compete against, have conflict with and want to "beat" are just people like us who have similar hopes, fears and dreams. At the most basic and, yet, profound level, we are all one. Anything and everything we can do to see, remember and remind ourselves and others of this innate unity gives us access to deeper connection and spiritual truth.
I love the Olympic Games! Not only do we get to watch extraordinary athletes complete at the highest level, but we get to tap into something profound and magical that can remind us of our true power, passion and oneness.
Mike Robbins is a best-selling author, sought-after motivational keynote speaker, and personal growth expert who works with people and groups of all kinds. Mike is the author of the bestselling books Focus on the Good Stuff and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken. He and his work have been featured on ABC News, in Forbes, Ladies Home Journal, Self, and many others.
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