(Part 1 of this 2-part article)

I don’t consider myself a great sports fan, but there are two sporting events which I have never missed watching – the Olympics and the FIFA football World Cup. These two are literally massive global events with countries coming together every 4 years to compete on the world stage against other countries for the prize and glory of being champion and showing who is the best.

The recent FIFA World Cup Football, which kept me awake in the wee hours of the morning watching the more important games, got me thinking as to how sport is such a usable model for anything that we want to achieve in life.

Great achievements in the sporting arena are great testimony of how talent, hard work, training and competition, have brought out the best in human potential.

In track endurance/ stamina for example, it was thought a great human achievement when Roger Bannister in 1954 ran the mile in less than 4 minutes (3:59.4) but today’s world record stands at 3:43.13 held by Hicham El Guerrouj.

As for speed/ power, the 100-meter sprint record was done in 10.6 seconds in 1912 by Donald Lippincott, while the current world record of 9.58 seconds (a full 1 second difference) is held by the very gifted Usain Bolt. How much faster can the human being run? One can only imagine.

  1. Talent

We see obvious talents in many great sports people: Lionel Messi with his pair of magical feet in football (soccer), Yelena Isinbayeva the pole vaulter who has risen to heights of recognition no other woman pole vaulter has done before and Malaysia’s very own Nicol David, 8-time world squash champion.

But have we considered that all of us too have talents which we have not recognized and which we have not discovered? Would Nicol David have discovered her talent with the squash racket if not for her father who groomed her?

Would Lionel Messi have discovered his astonishing gift if not for the influence of his grandmother (yes, his grandmother!) who took him to training and matches when he was a boy?

Could you be a David or a Messi, if only someone had seen that hidden gift and nurtured you in the right environment and given the right encouragement?

Yes, each and every one of us has a talent or gift that we can use to make lives, including our own, better. It is for us to find out what that talent is so that we can live more fulfilling lives. And give ourselves the right environment and encouragement to harness that gift if no one is doing it for us.

  1. Hard Work

Hard work opens doors and shows the world that you are serious about being one of those rare – and special – human beings who use the fullness of their talents to do their very best. Robin S. Sharma, motivational speaker

All successful people owe their success to hard work. Nothing is achieved without hard work. This is perhaps the most important part of achievement.

Hard work is the mid-wife of talent, for should we look around us, we will see that even if a person is talented, such talent cannot be harnessed without work.

Some people dream of success, others wake up and achieve it. Anonymous

And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening, work ethic. You know, while the other guy’s sleeping? I’m working. Will Smith, actor

Hard work builds discipline and the values of the work ethic. It makes our mind, emotions and bodies get used to listening to the “boss” (you) to wake up and take action and take that next step towards getting what is good and worthwhile. Hard work builds our mental, emotional and physical muscles to prepare us for the days when things don’t go our way.

To be continued…

Chong Bing Kuan has a strong passion for self-awareness. He currently dedicates himself to helping individuals live happier, healthier, holistically empowered lives with an emphasis on connecting with one’s inner self. His vision is for a world of self-aware people living in happiness, peace and harmony. His present workshop “The Path of Your Heart” helps people unlock and use their heart intelligence to live more holistic and happier lives. Get in touch with Bing Kuan at