As It Is, Not As We Wish It To Be

Life is what it is in this moment.

For Ivanie Blondin, an hour ago she was the most recent world cup champion in the 3000 m speed skating mass start.  Now she is the Canadian who did not make the final in the event.  Ivanie was going for sprint points, and edge that might help her get through, and in that moment of risk, she fell down hard, taking her out of the race even though she tried so hard to catch up.  Her “quest for gold” over in that instant.

She will “blame” herself.  Imagine feeling blame for being 4th, 5th, & 6th at the Olympics.

And then there is the 4th place 50 km ski finish for the exceptional athlete, Alex Harvey.


As the parent of an elite athlete, I have seen this so many times.  All athletes at this level work incredibly hard with almost no resources, and there are no guaranteed results.  Both Alex and Ivanie were once cyclists with my son.

Athletes who win, inspire others with messages about working hard and achieving your dreams.  But the failed dreams remain invisible to us. The media is not interested in the people who worked just as hard, believed just as much, yet didn’t get there, because of chance, politics, bad luck, or a myriad of other factors out of their control.

The cemetery is invisible to outsiders. (Dobelli 2013, p.1)

I am wondering, this morning, how we approach our messages to our children in these times of realized and failed dreams on the open world stage.  My colleague and friend, Deidre, shared this with me yesterday.


From The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents by William Martin – click image for link.

As well, I just listened to this TED Talk by Susan David which is helping me work through this today.

Only dead people never get inconvenienced by their feelings.  Don’t  have dead peoples’ goals.








Rolf Dobelli, 2013: The Art of Thinking Clearly.

Featured Image:

Shane Stagner


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