The Olympic motto–Citius, Altius, Fortius–means Faster, Higher, Stronger. Every two years in winter and in summer so many of us get swept up in the majesty of the Olympics, at the feats of human athletic performance and the prospect of world records. In every event, the athlete whose performance best exceeds limitation wins a gold medal. Other winners earn silver and bronze medals. But at that level of performance, the difference between first, second, and third place can be a second, an inch, or a pound. And in the case of artistic events, like gymnastics and figure skating, the difference can be technique, artistry, and the defiance of gravity.


In a culture that glorifies competition, rivalries can obscure the salience of an athlete’s personal best. Occasionally, sports commentators who flout the rivalries in competition pause long enough to consider the athletes’ first true calling–to rise to the height of their individual mastery in the context of good sportsmanship. At their personal best, every athlete who plays on the international stage assumes heroic status.


On a resiliency journey, the motto could best be summed up as Better, Smarter, Faster (Siebert, A., Sloan, K., Warschaw, T.) Our personal best becomes pivotal to our heroic evolution. We live lives of heroic proportions–a relationship betrayal, a lost job, a medical diagnosis, a vehicular accident, a victim of criminal activity, a survivor of natural disaster, bereavement. Although we are compared to and judged by others in various scenarios, ultimately we must contend with ourselves. With principles and conscience, we must learn to live with our personal best.


Just as we hail athletes as heroes by virtue of their mastery, so are we heroic by virtue of our finest hours, the personal bests that shape our legacy. With what olympic endeavors do you contend? Select any areas of your life–any role, any decision, any activity. For what olympic endeavors do you deserve a medal?

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