Nathan Chen’s Path to Victory and the Importance of Redefining Your Personal "Gold”
How Managing Your Energy Helps Create Greater Success
Nathan Chen was the embodiment of joy, as he finished his final skate of the 2022 Olympics with a backflip (worth watching).
Only days before he had won his first gold medal and set a world record in the process.
Watching him, it is hard to imagine that just 4 short years before he left the Olympics devastated by a poor performance on the world stage.
Favored to win in 2018, he fell and then stumbled twice.
Not only did he not win the gold medal he didn’t make it to the podium.
The pressure was intense.
He’d been skating since he was 3.
It was his life.
ALL of his life.
It consumed him.
Until it didn’t.
Then an unusual thing happened …
He realized that in order to achieve his Olympic dream he needed to start fulfilling some of his other ones.
He stopped focusing solely on the podium.
He began paying attention to other areas of his life.
He worked with a sports psychologist.
He stayed off social media.
He learned to quiet the outside “noise” and focused on the fundamentals.
Most importantly, he started to have fun.
And, he won.
The Power of Full Engagement
It’s easy to get caught up in doing and mistake it for achieving.
When things start to come apart, it can be difficult to see that perhaps we’re actually doing too much of the wrong things and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
So, instead, we do more.
We try to “fix” it.
But as Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz discuss in their brilliant book, The Power of Full Engagement we have a limited supply of energy.
When that energy is continually being spent on things that drain us…
we become depleted.
That’s why it’s so critical to, as Loehr and Schwartz so famously noted, “manage your energy, not your time.”
This makes the ability to manage your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as important as the things you choose to do, sometimes even more so.
That’s the lesson Nathan Chen learned.
When his thoughts and emotions started to energize him rather than deplete him, he found his path to the gold.
So, how can you find the gold in your life?
What do you need to let go of -- and, what do you need to start doing -- in order to fully engage?
Going for the Gold:
1. Identify Energy Rechargers and Drains: – Pay attention. Note the who, what or where you get your energy from as well as what diminishes it. Real change can only begin with self-awareness
2. Monitor Your Energy – Similar to a battery your energy diminishes with overuse. You need to pay attention to all the energy domains in life – the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. When your energy in any one of these areas is diminished then burnout is far more likely to happen.
3. Pay Attention to Your Fundies – In our overly busy world, it’s easy to forget that the simplest path to success is often paved with the fundamentals. When we fuel ourselves well, get regular exercise and sleep, and nurture our relationships it’s easier to focus, be happy and make the kinds of decisions that support high levels of positive energy.
A simple tool to get a good overview of how you’re doing with your fundamentals is the Wheel of Life. Develop a version that captures what’s most important to you to create your gold medal-winning life.
RECOMMENDED LISTENS, READS And other interesting things
Work Burnout: How to Spot Symptoms and What to Do:
From the New York Times... how to recognize the physical symptoms of work-related stress — and what to do about them.
The Seven Habits That Lead to Happiness in Old Age - The Atlantic
From Arthur C. Brooks’ new weekly column “How to Build a Life”… “your well-being is like a retirement account: The sooner you invest, the greater your returns will be.”
The Lighter Side of Energy Management
Are there any other subjects you want me to cover? Hit “Reply” and tell me!
I love hearing from you :)!
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please forward to a friend (or 5 :) or someone you feel would benefit from reading it!
Andrea J. Miller
+1 (646) 556-5401 (Whatsapp)