Matt Ghaffari, an immigrant from Iran who won the Silver Medal in the 1996 Olympics and had been the U.S. national amateur wrestling champ for seven years, addressed our company and gave us some sound advice.
He reminded us that we awaken to an "opportunity" clock and not an "alarm" clock. He pointed out that the opportunity clock rings every day, and winners always answer it, mediocre individuals periodically answer it, and losers never do awaken to the opportunity that is theirs here in America. Matt advised us that in all the Olympic sports, the average length of time it takes an athlete to win a gold medal is 15 years. He observed that virtually every gold medal winner always keeps his or her goals in their pockets so they can constantly make reference to them. They eat, sleep, drink and dream about winning that gold medal. He observed that anyone with the same commitment to excellence would go much further in life.
Matt, a strong family man and a man of deep faith, believes you have to be a human being first and a sports person second. He believes Olympic athletes with families must organize their training around their family commitments because family goals are fully as important — perhaps even more important — than any other goal.
As a result of his philosophy, Matt has something to smile about, and if we will follow his admonitions and leadership, we, too, will have something to smile about.
"Attitude is the mind's paintbrush. It can color a situation gloomy or gray or cheerful and gay." — Mary Crowley
To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar's free email newsletter through ziglar.com.
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