Wash Post Q: The Washington Post and other media outlets are keeping careful count of the number of medals the United States and other countries are winning at the Winter Olympics. Should so much attention be focused on the medal count? Is winning gold, silver or bronze a fair measure of Olympic success? What about the athletes who work for years to get to the Games, yet have no shot at winning a medal?

As a three-time state champion and an Olympic hopeful in the shot put and discus in the state of Colorado, I understand the passion, persistence and focus required to become one of the best.

While winning a metal is likely in the hearts and minds of most athletes headed to the Olympics, it`s the feeling of having done your best that matters most. Just ask U.S. men`s figure skater Evan Lysacek, who upset Evgeni Plushenko for the gold.

When asked to comment about his victory, his consistent response was, “Whether I won gold or not, I would have walked away very happy, knowing I did my best in this Olympics.” He went on to say how much he appreciates Plushenko`s talents and the relationship they have built over the years.

After listening to his interview and reading a few articles on the topic, I was clear that Lysacek followed the focus on performance emphasized by Mike English, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“If you focus on performance, the medals will come.” — Mike English.

While English`s concept is certainly true for Olympians, it is also true for every person in each industry and every job. When we focus on doing our best in whatever we strive to do, success will find its way to us. I`ve always found that if I`m not seeing the results I want, it`s because I have more work to do. Persistence and dedication to exceptional performance pays off — it`s really that simple.

Misti Burmeister, Washington Post best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers

Link: https://views.washingtonpost.com/on-success/panelists/misti_burmeister/2010/02/focus_and_passion.html