With Australia not performing to the expectations of some at this Olympics, I know many of us are contemplating what it means to participate and give your best. It would seem to me – and I know many are on the same wavelength – that the moans of disappointment from the media about silver medals fails to honour the accomplishments of so many great performances at the Games. It also fails to provide proper perspective for the athletes fortunate enough to compete at the Games.
There are loads of advertisements that preach the “go for gold” philosophy. To some extent, for those whose personal best should have meant a gold, it is understandable that they are upset and disappointed. However, there are plenty of performances where personal bests were achieved, yet no medal was forthcoming. These performances are what the Games should be about. Participating, and giving of your best, are the greatest reasons to celebrate the Olympics.
One of the core values at Proclaim is ‘excellence’. We want our team to give of their best to our clients and, where appropriate, to their customers. While there are no Gold medals at stake, we aim to be the best at what we do, and for our results to demonstrate that we are the best in our class. So like many who ventured to London, we are striving to give of our best, with ‘go beyond’ as our corporate trademark.
We also try to have a little perspective as we go about our work. How do we do that? At Proclaim, we provide our team with two volunteer days a year. These days are used to work with a small number of hand selected charitable organizations, like The Sacred Heart Mission, Wesley Mission and Mirabel Foundation. Through these opportunities our team gets to meet people less fortunate than themselves. Whether it is serving lunch in the charity’s dining hall or taking children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use to Luna Park, this program offers our team members a chance to meet people far less fortunate than us. It is a chance to grab some perspective, and understand our place in the community.
So as far as the Olympics goes, a little perspective would go a long way. Winning a silver medal, or putting in a personal best performance, is something worth celebrating. These are healthy young sportspeople in the prime of life with huge opportunity ahead. It is time that those people who come second are celebrated, because the gap between first and second has become unhealthy. We should be looking to celebrate personal best efforts, and ensure our athletes have perspective when they win, or lose. If they need some perspective, maybe they should head to the soup kitchen on their return, and realize just how lucky they are.
Maybe the Commonwealth Bank’s 2016 campaign for James Magnussen can read “go for personal best’ rather than ‘go for gold’. And hopefully Australians will honour the performance of personal best, in the same way we honour gold. To achieve excellence, we all need to participate. The glory ought to be in the participation in the pursuit of excellence.