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I remember being excited as the LONDON 2012 games approached but I wasn’t exactly sure why that was. Could I sense the impending flow of competitiveness, national pride, personal stories of triumph and family sacrifices? Or was I simply fed up with the negativity of naysayers and wanted to support the hardworking people trying to organise a global event?
Whether you were supporting a sport, a national team, or none in particular, you could not help but be moved by the Olympians and Paralympians. We have seen so many people demonstrate what hard work, good coaching, focus and commitment can do. We have become so cynical that it took a while to engage our attention.
There is so much to admire. They encourage us to take time to explore our talents, work to get better at what we’re good at, see competition as a way to bring out the best in us, collaborate with others when we can for a team performance, set goals and work towards these, share the struggle, accept our individuality, try to overcome adversity and keep an eye on the rest of the world to give us perspective. A wonderful reminder of what our fellow human beings are capable of. This could help to motivate us to keep going through our own challenges and disappointments. Many participants vowed to perform better in London than they did in Beijing and others are planning to improve for Rio; we have our own performance timelines to work towards. We don’t need to do their best, just ours.
I was lucky enough to get tickets for both Olympic and Paralympic events and able to absorb the atmosphere first hand. It is simply incredible to see people performing at their best and being part of the elite group in their field. When else do we get the best in the world and have them compete to find the best of the best?
And it’s been great experiencing that community feel with people talking and laughing with strangers, smiling staff offering high 5’’s and people offering to take pictures for others. And I even saw someone offering free hugs at a few events.
I am really pleased that Team GB performed brilliantly and Team Grenada won its first gold medal! I am left with a good feeling and a plan to get fitter and focus my energies better. How did you feel before the games came, once they started, and now that they are over?
I’ve noticed impatience creeping in in several areas and I wonder what that says about us. As a counsellor I need to be patient with my clients as developing trust or bringing about healing takes time – there is no cheat.
3 examples of our struggle with waiting:
- I enjoy listening to review shows and am pleased that they do give notice if they are about to reveal too much by signalling “spoiler alert”. Last week I was listening to a very reputable review show podcast where John Hamm of Mad Men was being interviewed. The whole point seemed to be to guess as much of the future of the show as possible. By the end of the interview I knew how many series might be ahead and what the ending screen shot might be. Try as I might I can’t now get this image out of my head. It was totally unnecessary. The interviewer was obviously not a fan and someone who had researched the series and probably feels they could write something similar.
- Sometimes even if we don’t seek the information before hand we might get it anyway. I am tired of hearing on the news that someone important is going to give a speech tomorrow and this is what will be said. When I have a vote to impact the future then let me know otherwise I can wait until tomorrow to find out. More recently we had that with the budget. (As it happened being given so much information beforehand meant that people were more alert to what had not been leaked). It does raise the question as to when we engage with what is going on: before it happens based on expectation or after it happens based on reality?
- My third example is the publication of the report looking into the causes of last summer’s riots. I was surprised to hear on BBC’s Newsnight that the report’s authors would not be joining the discussion because of their anger that it had been leaked. The panel was good enough but that did not seem to be the point. Here is a report that has taken so many months and effort to explore all the possible causes of a very unusual and sad incident and it’s been snatched out of those who did the work. It’s like designing, making and packaging a most original gift and having a stranger break open the wrapping and rummaging inside. It is such a difficult exercise anyway because many people do not wish to know what caused it they just don’t want it to happen again. We all have our preferred perspectives that blame individuals, families or society for problems. Wouldn’t it be great if we could demonstrate delaying gratification rather than a ‘must have it now’ approach? I hope the report is given the attention it deserves by all of us and look forward to hearing from the people who carried out the research.
A recent award nominee shared how angry she was when someone asked about her acceptance speech. She wanted to enjoy the glow and excitement of being nominated. I hope that more of us can develop an ability to wait and hold uncertainty. What do you think? Do you always want to know what is coming up or would you like to be surprised when things happen?