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By Tanya Wilson

The 2012 Olympic begins today. For a couple of weeks we have a front row seat in watching some of the world’s greatest athletes compete for a gold medal in their sport. The journey to the Olympics is filled with stories of struggle, pain, loss, and disappointment and most importantly the commitment to persevere.

The games offer a great opportunity for each of us to be reminded of some areas that by strengthening in our own lives, can aid us as we seek to accomplish our personal and professional goals. Life consistently offers us the opportunity to be successful, however, many times it includes some of the same challenges the Olympians face. It is incumbent for us to persevere through to our goal.

There are eight characteristics that successful athletes stay committed to. By including some or all of these focus areas in our lives; the payoff could be as good or greater than receiving a gold medal.

• Determination

• Strength

• Hard Work

• Motivation

• Management of Adversity

• Optimistic/ positive attitude

• Focus

• Stress Tolerance

1Corinthians 9-24 speaks to the subject of competition, completion and focus, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.”

Jessie Owens was one of the first African Americans to appear in the Olympics and brought home four gold medals in track and field, against all the odds. When you study his career, you can see that many of these same focus areas are what enabled him to accomplish greatness.

Jessie Owens said something that I strongly believe; he said “one chance is all you need.” I would add that we must consistently position ourselves with all of the preparation and commitment needed to make the most out of a one chance opportunity.

Tanya is an inspirational speaker and writer living in Charlotte. You can friend her on Facebook or email her at

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