Last week I read the post Leadership Lesson: Tim Noonan by Bob Chapman. Noonan’s motto “Think big. Start small. Start” stuck on my head. Sometimes we are too afraid to think big, even to dream big and that is the first hurdle against us and our true desires or goals.
During the last 16 days I’ve been amazed by the dedication and sacrifices or athletes around the world who has a golden dream, get a medal. There are a couple of histories that are very near and dear to my heart because the main characters are people from my country, Puerto Rico.
As a nation we knew in a matter of days two opposite sides of a journey, the awesomeness of the triumph and the pain of the defeat. Monica Puig won the first olympic gold medal ever for Puerto Rico. The 22 year-old tennis player began the year ranked 92nd and is currently ranked 34 in the world by the WTA. Nobody expected Monica to win the gold, she was unseeded, but she did by taken care on her Rio Olympics journey of players ranked number 19, 4, 32, 14 and finally number 2. As a teenager she dreamed about playing professional tennis and win a olympic medal for her country. Think big, Start Small, Start!
Javier Culson is a Puerto Rican athlete and London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist who specialises in the 400 meter hurdles. Javier is a two times World Championships Silver medallist and participate in the IAAF Diamond League, an annual series of track and field meetings. It was a very real expectation to see him on the Rio 2016 podium but his Olympic dream of hurdles ended in the most crushing way possible, disqualified in the finals due to a false start. Javier also dreamed big, he wanted his second olympic medal.
Every journey has its setbacks, times when you feel defeated, the game over thoughts. I think this is the part where the start takes more sense. All of us start small, the first step after having the courage of go for your dream is not a problem. The problem comes after that, when you have to play against all odds, when looks like you take one step forward and two steps back. My two fellow Puerto Ricans, Monica and Javier they dreamed big and had the courage to go for it, started their journey and along the way both fell, Monica passed that hurdle and won the gold, Javier had a heartbreaking setback but that only means that he is still a few steps shy of his Gold Medal, which can come disguised as something else. He is now on the Start phase.
Ready to think big, Set-start small, Start-Go!.