Ten ways to keep the Olympic spirit alive

The response to last weeks post was extraordinary.  There were more comments on the blog and more retweets than ever before.  I was even asked to do a radio interview about it.  The message was clear – we loved that feeling, how do we keep it?

Here are some suggestions…

1. Decide to keep it alive. Keeping the Olympic sprit alive is not something that others can do for us, it is something we do, individually, for ourselves. Keep it alive wherever you can, seek to be the very best you can be at whatever you do.  Look for the things you are great at, practice, study and train until you can excel.  It does not need to be a sport, it could be being a parent or some aspect of your job, there is fulfilment and joy in doing our best.  And then through perseverance and practice doing even better.

2. Own it, don’t expect politicians, the media or anyone else to keep it alive for you.  Outsourcing responsibility for the Olympic Spirit will ensure that it is eroded, compromised and reassigned.  You know what the Olympic Spirit means to you.  Hold onto it, take full responsibility for it and keep it alive in your life.  Put posters, souvenirs or trophies on the wall to remind you and…

3. Follow or take up one of the Olympic sports that inspired you.  Don’t be afraid to jump on the bandwagon of cycling, mountain biking, canoeing, rowing, running, diving, swimming, jumping, horse riding or just try several.   We saw a dear friend during the Olympics, who discovered she was a passionate rowing fan.  Inspired, she found a women’s rowing club nearby and joined.  Do it – now – and keep doing it.

4. Don’t buy in to negativity and manipulation, whatever you experience, look for the positive.  If you can’t find the positive in people, media or situations move on.  Life is too short to live amongst negativity.  Some of the most magnificent people we meet in life are the ones who are always positive and never have a bad thing to say about anyone.  Surround yourself with positivity and be positive yourself.  Even when the news looks bleak – there are always positive aspects to it.

5. Seek stories of human achievement.  I find that the stories that move me the most are ones of human achievement.  Whether it is sports, business, adventure or relationships, fact or fiction, I love stories of people overcoming the odds and doing something remarkable with their lives.  I think we all do.  Read the back stories of the athletes that inspired you in the games, watch movies and TV that inspires and boycott soaps and other dross that simply undermine the Olympic Spirit.

6. Support an athlete preparing for Rio in 2016.  A 14 year old near you has their heart and body set on Rio 2012.  Seek them out through schools and sports clubs and support them in whatever ways you can.  If they make it to the Olympics that would be fabulous, if they don’t they, and you, have still done something outstanding that will set them up for years to come.  Imagine the power, discipline and wisdom of a generation of Olympic aspirants running the country.

7. Have regular media holidays.  Bad news exists and we cannot and should not bury our heads in the sand and pretend it does not, but much of what passes for news is not news at all, but sensationalist, cynical and negative manipulation of our fears and prejudices – a modern take on the monster myth, designed to inhibit people and keep them from being amazing.  The Olympics gave Britain a media holiday, and you can take a media holiday anytime you like.  I took a month long media holiday a few years ago and found myself to be far more discerning in my interpretation of news than I had been before.  I could see through the propaganda and the manipulation far more than before.  Now with online news aggregators like Flipboard and Google News, we can be our own editors, selecting the topics we want and balancing the bad news with the good.  The “Cool” and “Offbeat” channels on Flipboard always provide an antidote to the more serious.

8.  Inspire others. Take it upon yourself to be inspiring.  As much as possible do and be your best.  Be honest about your strengths and your weaknesses and pursue your authenticity.  Help others to believe in themselves with encouragement and compliments. If you notice someone doing something well or behaving nicely, let them know it.  My wife is brilliant at this and it is wonderful to see people light up and glow at the recognition.  Think what it would mean to you to have your care, kindness, ability or talent recognised and offer that gift to others.

9. Imagine, dare to dream, to have a big vision, to hold onto it and pursue it.  Olympic athletes are only there because they dared to dream big, to hold a vision that seemed impossible.  Far to often we allow our dreams to be compromised by the fears of others.  Have the courage to recognise your dreams and to articulate them as a vision.  Make them visible and present in your life and start to plan for them.  You are already on your way to making your dreams come true.  All you have to do now is to persist until they do and not be discouraged by setbacks.

10. Be the change you want to see in the world.  Few of us want a world of fear, violence, corruption and greed.  By far the majority want a world of peace, love, fulfilment and happiness.  The world we inhabit is a reflection of how the majority of us are in our thoughts, our words and our actions.  When enough of us can live with peace and love, enough of the time the wolrld will also be that way.

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With love


Neil Crofts
authentic business
+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts


About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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6 Responses to Ten ways to keep the Olympic spirit alive

  1. Reb Veale says:

    Once again Neil, simply wonderful and uplifting. Thank you.
    I love the principles of the indigenous people of Hawaii’s Huna – that which we acknowledge through the giving of thanks shows up increasingly in our Universe. I guess making a conscious choice to notice the good stuff that abounds around us guides our unconscious to accumulate it. Sounds like your wife already does this naturally 🙂
    So thank you for reminding my conscious I can choose to notice what I want.

  2. Thanks Neil – these seem to be great actions for us to individually take forward.

    Throughout the games, I was aware of the number of athletes who were achieving “Personal best” performances. Indeed, there were numerous instances where even personal bests were not medal-winning performances, but they did better than they’d ever done before. For me, I took great strength from seeing how athletes were able to lift their own games and improve their performance by being surrounded by the best in the world.

    It is easy to surround ourselves with weaker people; in that way we look great – but it does nothing for our own performance. Truly great people surround themselves with better, stronger people – that’s the way we lift our own game and become stronger ourselves.

    • Neil Crofts says:

      I love this – thank you. I love the idea of looking for Personal Best in whatever we do. What about a personal best meeting or a personal best e-mail – love that. Also surrounding yourself with brilliance as a way to raise your game. Steve Jobs was uncompromising on this. One of his philosophies was that if you only hire A players you raise everyone’s game. Of course it has a Darwinist brutality about it that is not always comfortable, but it also makes sense.

  3. Paul Norris says:

    great to see you driving the feel good and do good factors Neil; you’re right iof course, and one of the big things you and I have always agreed on from the very beginning is that “life is to short to spend it around negative people!!” Luv it..

  4. Peter Rouse says:

    Excitement in aspiration; Joy in endeavour; delight in success; empathy in failure – connected feelings and association with the achievements of those who are like us in their striving. We love those who try and if we can find the courage within us then we can try too and so doing experience our humanity a little bit more vibrantly.
    I so agree with you regarding the media who in the end seemed to give up, for a brief Olympic spell, polemics and the negativity that spawns so much of the same. One day I would like to hear the “and now the good news will be read by….”. There are so many stories of endeavour, kindness and virtue in action that support precisely the public mind-set needed for economic regeneration and good health. Let’s have some balance!

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