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The Olympics are Giving me Tunnel Vision

I’d like to think the Olympics would motivate me to be unusually productive. Or at least, encourage me to hit the gym. Instead, the games have kept me on my couch. Surely, I’m NBC’s most loyal viewer. I haven’t channel-surfed in more than 72 hours.

The obsession has its perks— including an “aha” moment I had while watching some of the commentary. It followed routines by a number of figure skaters, including American Gracie Gold and Russia’s teenage phenom, Julia Lipnitskaia. Both girls have been nearly perfect, but the 15-year-old Russian is certainly becoming the talk of Sochi.

Looking too deeply into another’s journey can lead to rushed decisions and unrealistic short-term expectations.

There has been discussion on whether Ms. Gold will have the ability to do her last name justice when going up against such a talented competitor. A former Olympic skater weighed in, explaining success at this level is about “tunnel vision.” Meaning, she assumes Gracie remains focused on her own routine and ability to give a great performance, rather than on her opponent.

Cue the “aha” moment. Sometimes, the greatest achievements come through knowing when to stop creating nerves as a result of someone else’s path. Looking too deeply into another’s journey can lead to rushed decisions and unrealistic short-term expectations. I’ve said before, comparisons crush creativity and weaken the mind.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should avoid scoping out the playing field altogether. It merely means to be aware of moments in life when every ounce of your energy is required to achieve success— whether it be in your relationships or your career. That’s when you shouldn’t shy away from tunnel vision.

Speaking of which, I think watching the Olympics so religiously is giving me tunnel vision. I’m behind on my whole life right now. Thanks, NBC.