Achieving excellence requires the compilation of mindset, decisions, and actions that lead to opportunities and success. Olympic athletes become the very best at their sport because they learn that in order to excel and become the best at what they do, they need more than just dreams of crossing the finish line and winning the gold medal. Below are some tried and true characteristics that can take you to winning your own gold medal in life and achieving your ultimate vision.


The ‘get back up and keep going’ attitude towards any pursuit is critical to achieving excellence and success. Those who are the most resilient in life will be those who reach their goals and surpass the achievements of others and not because of ability or talent. Resilience is the desire and the execution of moving forward regardless of any barrier or failure. Skills or capabilities do not bring talent. Resilience is a success trait on its own. The notion that there is a straight line that can lead you from talent to success is misleading (and largely false). The direct route to success, however, is found through executing resilience and by the tireless and continued forward motion towards a goal.

Embracing failure.

Olympic champions have exceeded not only the ability of other athletes, but they have also exceeded their own benchmark numerous times. However, the only way you can surpass yourself and become better is by being the loser at some point or experiencing failure along the way. Those who identify with and become afraid of failure remain stagnated, too fearful to test their wings again. Don’t protect yourself from the hurt feelings that result from failure. Embrace those feelings and embrace the failure and use it as your most prized opportunity to improve yourself. This is the recipe for greatness.

Passion as a prerequisite for success.

Passion transcends ability, intelligence, talent, opportunity, or any perceived advantage. When you have a true passion towards whatever you are pursuing and when your desire to live out your passion is something you feel so strongly that you refuse to allow anything to stand in your way, you have already set the stage for your personal success.

Making the Shift: Steering Your Mindset a Few Degrees for Optimal Success

Many people believe that having the right mindset is more than half the battle when it comes to achieving success. If you would like to test this theory, just consider the opposite: Do you believe that a negative mindset could lead someone towards a path of opportunity and achievement? It’s unlikely. Success is made up of many important ingredients, but much of the precursors to success occur in the absence of any action and start with a mindset placed in the right direction.

Positive thinking.

Developing more positive thoughts and beliefs does not mean an unrealistic or fantasy-like mindset. You can make small changes towards implementing positive thinking in your every day life, simply by reevaluating your current way of thinking and processing information. This can be done by firstly, observing your own thoughts next time you experience a negative or unwanted feeling (e.g., sadness, frustration, anger, apathy). Then you identify the thoughts you had at the moment that you felt this way. This helps you make a connection between your thoughts and the way you feel; you may be surprised to find the relationship between the two. Tapping into this knowledge will help you reverse the process because if negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings, then that means positive thoughts can do the same. If you can replace a negative thought with a positive thought in order to challenge the negative one, you are one step closer to making a significant shift towards positive thinking.

Positive self-image.

Successful individuals acknowledge their positive traits and abilities, as this contributes to an overall healthy belief about the self and will allow you to build on your strengths. Maintaining a positive self-image is a continuous pursuit and one of the best ways to achieve this is by regularly participating in activities outside of work and other every day tasks. These activities should be healthy, expose you to positive environments and people, and make you feel good about yourself. Whether it is a sport, volunteer work, or hobby, such activities allow you to express the many layers of who you are and remind you of your various positive traits.

Positive Future.

Holding positive beliefs about your future is a critical mindset shift that can significantly influence your achievements and success. Envisioning a positive future is very much related to positive thinking only you are establishing intentions, plans, and goals to reach the future that you envision for yourself. This mindset shift combines your belief about your ability, as well as your conviction that through hard work and striving towards your goals, you will accomplish the success that you imagine.

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