When is it okay to throw in the towel? To give up? Olympians have started doing it. Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka withdrew citing mental issues. For decades Olympians withdrew without choice due to physical injuries as was the recent case of Serena Williams. But what of psychological? Is there a place for commitment, dedication? Determination? Better yet, if you withdraw, does it mean that you’re not?
Olympic Woes Amidst Success
Let no one define what Success Means to you. Define it for yourself.Dr. Shelly C
The Olympics has always been a love of mine. Personally, I did track most of my school years and was naturally good at it. Sadly, no one told me that my natural talents and discipline was worthy of pushing forward to compete at a higher level. So once I got to the nationals, that’s where it stayed. I didn’t rise to higher heights.
Questions arose in my mind as I thought of my early life’s athletic prowess amidst the current Olympics situation. Furthermore, my study and research of success made me even more curious. Leadership traits such as determination, discipline, resilience were all attributable to success… be it in sports, business or life in general. When there is a goal that drives, we do whatever it takes to achieve. But when the going gets tough and society takes over (your goal), as is the case when athletes compete on behalf of educational institutions, organizations, or globally as in the Olympics, we ponder where does it stop? Where do you draw the line? When the goal becomes not only that of the athlete’s personally but that of his/her team, state, country (not the world yet though space tourism has become an appetizing delectable), whose decision is it?
Oh What Peace We Often Forfeit
Indeed as a colleague shared, it has become a complex situation especially when the values and socialization of societies differ. One competitor may never give up. Another may say ” hey it’s okay”. Millennials and Generation Z (iGeneration) think survival. They’ll retort, “I don’t want this anymore no matter the consequences. I will do me. You do you. Keep your award, your attributes, your contracts, your medals and forgive me but I will keep my sanity. That means more to me.”
Mental Issues Are Real
I dare say, mental issues are real. It was previously thought of as taboo to share inner turmoil for fear of being seen as weak, but these days when the British Royalties have brought mental issues to light, it is now more recognized and many in fact do understand.
As society and individual goals evolves, where do we go next? Let’s be prepared to not only wait and see but to also get ready to do something about it. Check-in with a neighbor or friend going through stuff. Be mindful of the silent ones. Offer support. Refer them to get help. Let’s do what we can in our small corner.