WEEK 3 – AUGUST 2008
I am sure wherever you live in the world, you have been watching the Olympics. What an amazing feat by Michael Phelps to win eight Olympic gold medals, the single greatest Olympic performance ever. Along the way, he also smashed, or helped to smash, seven world records in Beijing and he also has the most career golds of any Olympian, with 14. Here are a few Michael Phelps quotes.
“Dream big, dream as big as you can,” he said in Beijing during the opening week of the Olympic Games. “If you dream your biggest dream, anything is possible. No matter what you set your imagination to, anything can happen.”
Phelps had never publicly admitted that his goal was to win eight gold medals in Beijing, but with the deed done, he finally acknowledged that dream. “I’ve dreamed of a lot of things, and written down a lot of goals, and this one was the biggest one I had ever written down,” he said.
Apart from dreaming, there is one other thing that Phelps does exceptionally well.
He sets challenges, then rises to them. A challenge is slightly different from a goal. A goal applies pressure. A challenge is fun. Challenges motivate him.
And he uses the comments of others to drive him.
If someone, such as Thorpe, says Phelps can’t do something, he will set out to prove them wrong. When Thorpe said in Athens that seven gold medals – Phelps’s target in 2004 – was “unattainable for me, unattainable for anyone”, Phelps stuck those words on his locker door.
Where others doubt, Phelps believes. Where others hesitate, he acts. He trusts his own ability and training, and does not accept that anything is impossible.
“Mum and I still joke about it, that in middle school I had a teacher who said I would never be successful, I think back on little things like that.”
He also visualises his success all the time…
There are times in my sleep when I literally dream my race from start to finish. I visualise to the point that I know exactly what I want to do: dive, glide, stroke, flip, reach the wall, hit the split time to the hundredth, then swim back again for as many times as I need to finish the race.”
Dream your dreams too for you. Anything is possible
Ann Quinn, Ph.D