Are you watching the Olympics?

One of my favorite stories so far has been the rivalry in swimming between Michael Phelps of the United States and Chad le Clos of South Africa. These two have raced against each other for years. Le Clos beat Phelps for the 200 meter Butterfly in the 2012 Olympics and Phelps made it very public that he wanted the title back.

This year Phelps beat le Clos and perhaps his focus, or le Clos’ lack of focus, played an important role.

This shot was taken during the home stretch of the race. As Phelps is focused on winning, le Clos takes a glance at Phelps. For at least this moment, le Clos was focused on Phelps more than completing the race. We’ll never know, but perhaps in his pre-race prep and during the race, he was focused more on Phelps and less on winning.

And it cost le Clos. He didn’t medal in this race. He finished fourth.

Phelps on the other hand seemed determined and focused to win this race. Phelps beat the 2nd place finisher by just .04 seconds!  It takes more time to blink your eyes than that!

Here’s the lesson here … Taking your focus away from the prize for even a glance could be the difference between winning and losing.

As you pursue your dreams, focus on them. Work hard for them. Do everything you can to make them happen.

In every moment you experience in life, focus on it. When you’re working, be completely focused on that. When you’re with your family, be focused on them.

Don’t focus on what others are doing. Don’t focus on what they have or what they are up to. Focus on you and your actions and on what you’re doing! Focus on the difference you can make.

That is how you win your race; whatever that may be!