It’s the dead of winter. It’s a time of hibernation for nature, rest and renewal. As humans, we may just feel tired and cold for a few months. I know I’ve spent most of my time recently indoors, hibernating under blankets, and watching TV. Although this may seem like lazy behavior, I still find inspiration during this restful period. Two television programs provided me with a renewed perspective this past week - The Winter Olympics and Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “Excuses Begone” telecast on PBS.
I am continuously amazed at the physical abilities and mental stamina of Olympic athletes. Their examples of courage, strength and triumph over every obstacle are spell-binding. Many times I found myself transfixed by the television screen, mouth open in awe, sitting at the edge of my seat, hoping and praying and cheering them on to victory. Some athletes won gold and some are going home empty-handed, yet their consistent drive to achieve their Olympic dream is an awesome motivator for people of all abilities. I consider myself to be an observer of sports rather than a participant and as an observer, I want to get inside the mind of an athlete and understand what drives them so fiercely. What lessons can I learn from their example? Perseverance under pressure comes to mind. Giving it all you’ve got no matter if the odds are stacked against you is another lesson to learn. Holding the vision of a dream accomplished in your mind before it is even a part of your experience in reality is the most powerful inspiration for me. I imagine that every single Olympic athlete across the globe has dreamed of winning an Olympic gold medal for most of their lives. And because of their ability to hold the clarity and detail of that dream in their minds first, they accomplish great things.
Dr. Wayne Dyer’s program “Excuses Begone” provided me with an inspiration that hit closer to home on a more practical level. He spoke of the power of our subconscious mind and our ability to tap into that power by simply observing our thoughts. I’ve been practicing this technique for many years yet I’m always learning new approaches. Dr. Dyer spoke of the activity of your conscious mind during the last five minutes before you fall asleep at night. And how most of us lay there in bed rehashing our days, what was accomplished, what was not accomplished, and particularly what went wrong during our day. These daily summaries tend to be negative in content and, if we are able to drift off to sleep, when our subconscious mind takes over we are entering this period of rest with negative thoughts swarming around in our heads. Not exactly a restful, satisfying, stress-free approach to sleep. This got me to wonder, what do Olympic athletes think about right before they fall asleep? Maybe they think about their training schedules and how to do better tomorrow, but I bet you without a doubt that every one of them drifts off to sleep with the thought of winning that gold medal. And they do that every single night.
So maybe we are not all Olympic athletes or doctors of psychology, yet we can learn from their examples. Imagine the power we can harness within ourselves by simply thinking positively right before we rest our conscious minds into the subconscious. Taking those five minutes to count blessings, affirm our strengths, congratulate ourselves for doing the best we could, and feeling hopeful for a fresh start tomorrow. Holding our dreams actively in thought and believing that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. Then, we get to dream of endless possibilities for a few solid hours, without restrictions or limitations, finding ourselves rested and refreshed in the morning.
Make your dreams Olympic-sized and go for the gold!