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Our "Olympic" Lessons.....

I have to admit, I love the Olympics.... especially the winter Olympics.   I know this may not hold as much appeal when you have to slog through the snow in Rexburg day after day, but for many in the world these are great days that come only every four years.  

So with this in mind, I think we can apply some learning from these 2014 Winter Games.   Here are my questions for us to ponder:

  • What can we learn from these athletes and their families?
  • Is there a direct application to our Instructor Standards and / or our newly published Leadership Principles?
  • How do we motivate ourselves to do difficult / challenging (but rewarding) tasks?

And if you need some help, here are three video clips and one article to inspire you:

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  • Hi, Jeff,

    The Olympics to me, expresses the highest artistic physical and athletic ability humans can possess.  I liken these achievements to the unique achievements each of us has potential to actualize.  Achievements are different than accomplishments.  Achievements speak of the greatest accomplishments we have made in our lives.  I am reminded when I think of the hard work and lengthy practice it takes to get to the Olympics, that we are all on a similar course in our own worlds, if we are applying the principles we understand to the purpose Heavenly Father has asked us to fulfill.  The competition is often painful, and we seek to win.  When we lose, we must learn from our trials and mistakes, so that we can become better.  Training, precision, practice, diligence, effort, drive, and never losing sight of the prize--these Olympic Games teach us that each of us can have these experiences.  And we celebrate the beauty of those persons who can actualize these experiences in sport.

    • Your comments Shea remind me of Elder Bednar's remarks on "becoming".  See link below...

      I think so many of us focus on arriving we forget about becoming....

      • More spiritual. 
      • More thoughtful of others. 
      • Stronger in mind and body. 
      • More Christlike.

      Sister Noelle, in my mind, focus' on becoming rather than arriving..... and is a great contemporary example of this principle. 

      • Thanks for this link, Jeff.  I love the reference to "conversion" in these passages.  Yes, we are in a constant state of becoming, if we choose to be.  I think some persons stop growing, and this is a mistake.  When we stop seeking to become, we stop progressing.  It is endurance until the end, not until we choose to give up.  Unfortunately, most of the world is blinded by limited thinking, distorted thinking or emotional thinking.  And the world sees success as measurable, instead of progressive.

    • Great thoughts, Shea!  I love the analogy of "training, precision, practice, diligence, effort, drive, and never losing sight of the prize."  It reminds me of 2 Nephi 31:19-20: 

      And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow apath, I would ask if all is bdone? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken cfaith in him, drelying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to esave.

       20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a asteadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of bhope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and dendure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eeternal life.

  • Today I shared this Olympic Time Management Inspiration with my students:

    As a wife, mother, church member, GS-120 instructor, and graduate student, I am constantly trying to figure out how I can manage my time more effectively.  Today I was inspired as I discovered the story of Noelle Pikus-Pace who is an Olympic athlete, wife, mother, and Stake Young Women's President (see videos: and  She was able to successfully manage her time and her priorities and win the silver medal in the skeleton race in the Sochi Winter Games on Friday, February 14, 2014.  Tears streamed down my face as I watched her race and listened to her interview after the race (see video:   I also love how she is always wearing the Young Women medallion and Young Women Torch when talking with the media, and encouraging others to work towards their goals. (see articles: and

    Noelle's story reminded me of Jeffrey R. Holland's quote, “Don't you quit. You keep walking, you keep trying, there is help and happiness ahead. Some blessings come soon. Some come late. Some don't come until heaven. But for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. It will be alright in the end. Trust God and believe in Good Things to Come.”  
    It also reminded me of one of my favorite poems called "Don't You Quit."

    When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, 
    When the road you're trudging seems all uphill, 
    When the funds are low and the debts are high, 
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, 
    When care is pressing you down a bit-
    Rest if you must, but don't you quit. 
    Life is queer with its twists and turns, 

    As every one of us sometimes learns, 
    And many a fellow turns about
    When he might have won had he stuck it out.
    Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
    You may succeed with another blow. 
    Often the goal is nearer than

    It seems to a faint and faltering man; 
    Often the struggler has given up
    Whe he might have captured the victor's cup; 
    And he learned too late when the night came down, 
    How close he was to the golden crown. 
    Success is failure turned inside out -

    The silver tint in the clouds of doubt, 
    And you never can tell how close you are, 
    It might be near when it seems afar; 
    So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
    It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

    Just as Noelle Pikus-Pace exercised her faith and God helped her manage her time successfully to reach her goals, I know if we all move forward with faith that God will help each of us manage our time so that we can reach our goals!
    Sister Nelson
    • Jenny -

      Great post!   Noelle Pikus-Pace is truly an example of someone who stuck with a goal and made it happen..... AND kept her values.   During her post competition interview said..... "to the Youth, remember who you are and what you stand for".   

      In front of a worldwide audience with many knowing she is a member of the Church, she publically demonstrated her Faith..... I was proud of her as a mom, a member of the Church and an overall good person. 

      Again, great post. 

      • Thanks Jeff.   I also saw that interview and loved her encouragement to the youth, especially because I have two teenagers myself.

        She is a great example to the world and to members of our faith about how to react to challenges and adversity.

        • In 2005 she was hit by a 4-man bobsled, which caused enough damage that she had to have a steel rod put into her leg.
        • In the 2010 Olympics she came in 4th place and missed the podium by just a few nanoseconds. Two of her sleds was damaged during the , so her husband designed a sled for her.
        • In 2012, she miscarried a 18-week daughter.  To overcome her sadness, her husband encouraged to train and go to the 2014 Olympics.
        • Right before her winning race, she had missed a few practice runs because of back issues (possibly a few herniated disks) and concussion-like symptoms because she hit her head.

        Her positive, faithful, attitude is inspiring to us all and shows that she is disciple leader.  Her life shows that with God, nothing is impossible.

        • Wow--thanks for sharing these details. I had no idea she was LDS.

          • Thanks Heather!  I know I didn't know anything about her until this week, but her story is especially inspiring to me because she is LDS!

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