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IS THIS YOUR LUCKY DAY?

Natasia Liukin
Nastia Liukin is rewarded with a gold
medal for a lifetime of single-minded
dedication and focus on her goals.
© FIG Photo

If all your dreams were a heartbeat away, if luck prevailed, and preparation had a chance to meet opportunity, if you truly held your fate in your hands, have you ever asked yourself, “Would I be ready to take advantage of the opportunity?”

Striving to become the best you can be every day of your life requires discipline, dedication and focus. It requires a plan. It is not bound by age, education or athletic ability.

In August, we stayed up past our bedtimes to share in the victories and defeats as over 10,000 athletes, many from countries we have never heard of, competed for over 300 gold medals. These Olympic athletes choose success. They demonstrated dedication and focus. They had a plan. Most amazing, when the final performance for the gold came down to one solitary performance, these world-class athletes stood ready for the challenge.

Brittany Pozzi-Pharr
Brittany Pozzi-Pharr's mental
toughness paid off during
10 grueling go-rounds of the
2007 National Finals Rodeo.
© PRCA Photo by Mike Copeman

In December 2008, rodeo athletes will demonstrate the same dedication, focus and planning, as the 50th anniversary of the National Finals Rodeo showcases 105 of the Nation's top rodeo athletes and their great equine partners as they compete for seven gold buckles in their respective events. Again, we will stay up past our bedtimes to watch the exciting competition and revel in the talent demonstrated by each athlete. More than likely, the championship will come down to the final performance, to the last ride, the last run.

The emotion stimulated by winning and loosing is infectious. A thrilling victory, even if it is someone else’s, is exciting. The personal profiles are inspiring. The defeats remind us to dust off and try again. The competition is a reminder that hard work and effort does pay off. Most important it reminds us of the importance of maintaining purpose and passion in our own lives. Being a winner is not only the goal; it is a lifestyle, and it is a choice. So ask yourself, “If my life dream was just one performance away, would I be ready, am I ready? What do I need to change in my life to get ready?”

You may be closer than you think or further away than you wish, but today is a great day to reboot, to refocus to redirect your dreams, your goals, and your passions. Don’t let the challenges of life rob you of your dreams. Use those same challenges to remind yourself to celebrate the victories. Olympian Dara Torres reminds us, “Never put an age limit on your dreams.” John Ruskin reminds us to “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”

Dreaming is just another way of thinking, of planning. Will success to be yours? Get ready for your lucky day!