Susan Meier shares an insightful perspective on the benefits of walking the path that’s neither straight nor narrow.
I’m captivated by the Olympic figure skating. I’ve always watched, but this year I’ve taken it to another level. I’ve been staying up past my bedtime, getting up at the crack of dawn, watching on my phone while in transit – whatever it takes not to miss a moment.
What it takes to win
Yes, the skating is beautiful, and that’s enough reason to watch. But there’s more to it than that. Ever since I launched Envision to help people brand and reimagine their careers, I look at everything through a new lens. I want to know, for example, each skater’s story, what it took to get them to that moment of peak performance, to arrive at that joyful place where they are doing exactly what they were meant to do.
Of course, not every performance goes smoothly, and some appear more tense than joyful. Some downright break your heart. But when the gold medalist takes the ice, the whole energy shifts. You can feel the presence of confidence.
The story of Nathan Chen
As of last Thursday, Nathan Chen is the skating world’s reigning sweetheart. Like all top competitive skaters, his life has been largely single-minded of purpose. Skating has been his world as long has he can remember. And once he became an Olympic medal contender, his focus on winning gold became an obsession. People say that dedicated focus, putting in the hours, and wanting it so badly you can taste it is the recipe for greatness. But four years ago, in Pyeongchang, Chen’s focus was his undoing.
He came into the 2018 Olympics a favorite for the gold. Expectations were high, and he was nervous. He choked in the short program and placed seventeenth, landing him in fifth place for the overall competition despite a stellar, record-breaking showing in the free skate. He had the skills. What he didn’t have was perspective.
Since then, he’s become more than a competitive skater – he’s now also a college student. He goes to Yale, where he says he’s working new parts of his brain and meeting friends in other domains outside the skating world. It’s helped him tremendously. He broadened his perspective, eased up on the pressure, unleashed his confidence… and won Olympic gold.
Read the full article, Zig Zag, on SusanMeierStudio.com.