What the Olympic Closing Ceremonies Can Teach Us About Career Success

The Olympics are over.  I enjoyed watching them over the past two weeks.  The last sporting event of this year’s games, the USA – Canada hockey game, was really something.  I hope you got a chance to see it.  Even though my home team lost it was an exciting, well played match that went into overtime.  I also tuned into the closing ceremonies last night.  I saw something there that I want to comment on in today’s post.

If you recall, at the opening ceremonies there was a problem with the torch lighting.  The cauldron was free standing, but there were four ornamental supports that were supposed to rise from the stadium floor to give the appearance of supporting it.  Well, only three of the supports actually rose, and there was a several minute delay in the proceedings while technicians tried to raise the fourth support.  They were not able to do so, so the torch was lit with only three of the four supports in place – a blunder that the entire world saw.

Last night, the closing ceremonies began with a mime climbing from the space in the floor where the fourth support was located.  He was dressed in overalls with a tool belt.  He acted as if he had just fixed the problem with the fourth support.  He then connected two large wires with a plug from which sparks flew — and the fourth support slowly began to rise from the floor of the arena and settled into place where it was supposed to have been on the first night.  The crowd applauded like mad.

As a career success coach, I said to myself, “There is a lesson here.”  And that lesson is simple common sense.  As you go through life you will run into some problems.  Sometimes you will be embarrassed.  When this happens, your ability to laugh at yourself is important.  Last night, the Vancouver Olympic Committee demonstrated this.  They took an embarrassing situation, and made light of it.  They were willing to laugh at themselves – in front of the whole world — and move forward.

Their actions reminded me of the seventh point of The Optimist Creed…

Promise yourself to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

If you want to become a career success, you need to adopt this attitude too.  Mistakes, problems, frustrations, embarrassments are all part of life.  Sometimes, they are small in scope.  Sometimes they are whoppers seen by millions of people.  Regardless, they all provide a learning experience.  If you want to become a career success, you need to keep your sense of humor, learn from your mistakes and then move forward toward the career success you want and deserve.  That’s what The Optimist Creed suggests.  And that’s what I, as a career success coach, suggest too.  By the way, if you would like a copy of The Optimist Creed suitable for framing and hanging in your office go to https://budbilanich.com/optimist and I’ll send you one.  My copy hangs just above my desk.  I read it every day as I’m beginning work.

The common sense point here is simple.  If you want to become a career success, you need to become self confident and optimistic.  Treat problems, setbacks and embarrassments as opportunities to learn and grow.  Learn from your mistakes; then put them behind you.  Move forward toward the career success you want and deserve.  The Vancouver Olympic Committee gave us a great example of this at the closing ceremonies.  They poked fun at themselves and their embarrassing moment at the opening ceremonies – and then moved forward with a great show.  Do the same, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a career success.

That’s the take of a career success coach on learning from your mistakes and the Olympic closing ceremonies.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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