Imagine this: What you love doing takes less than 10 seconds and you rarely get to do it!
Lessons from Bolt
I write this shortly after watching “I am Bolt” – the sports documentary about sprinter Usain Bolt as he prepares for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Whether you’re a fan of sports documentaries or not, I think you might enjoy this really captivating film about a very charismatic athlete.
There was lots of useful stuff in the film for me, particularly about the joy of doing something you’re great at, and I’ll write more about that in future.
One part of the film that really struck me was Bolt’s hatred of training. He says it again and again: “I love to run, I hate to train”. This from a man whose actual competitive event is over in less than 10 seconds!
Imagine that – the thing you love to do is over in less than 10 seconds, you probably don’t even get to do it competitively more than once a week, maybe much less, and to do it as well as you know you can, you have to do something you hate, again, and again, and again.
And you don’t just have to do this while you’re becoming good at your thing; you have to train and practise all the way through, even when you have multiple Olympic gold medals. Even when you are the best in the world.
I’m quite inspired by this.
I’m looking around seeing if I can re-frame all the stuff I hate doing to be the equivalent of “training”, for the 10 seconds I do love.
Does it help, do you think, this kind of reframing?
I suppose you’ve got to know what the thing you love doing is, so that you can tell which bits (the ones you hate) are just necessary “training”. And then you’ve got to decide if the thing you love doing is worth dedicating yourself to. Not just so that you can be the best in the world – most of us never get the chance to measure that in any meaningful way. But so that you can be the absolute best version of you, doing what you love to the absolute best of your abilities.
I’ll settle for that.