Olympic motivational speaker Ruben Gonzalez

A boxer has only 10 seconds to get back up…

When I was 21 years old, I made a decision to take up the sport of luge and pursue my lifelong dream of competing in the Olympic Games.

Many people tried to discourage me. I was told that I was too old, that I would break bones, and that nine out of ten people who took up the luge quit along the way.

Instead of getting discouraged, I got excited. You see, nine out of ten people quit everything. Nine out of ten people quit sales, they quit medical school, they quit on themselves, and worst of all, they quit on their dreams. I knew from the start that it would be a challenge, but as long as I didn’t quit, I would have a chance.

Four years and a few broken bones later I was competing in the Calgary Olympics. I went on to compete in the Albertville Olympics and in the Salt Lake City Olympics – at the age of 39!

You will experience challenges and setbacks on the way to your dream as well. That’s just part of the game. But if you want something badly enough, and you are willing to persevere, success is there for the taking. Success is a choice.

* Go All The Way

When you make a decision that quitting is not an option, before long you will be in the top 10% in your field because 90% of your competition will quit. Your motto needs to be, “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better, stronger and stronger, closer and closer to my dream!”

* Create a “Dream Team”

Ninety percent of success in determined by whom you associate with. Create a “Dream Team” of people who believe in you and will encourage you through tough times.

* Give Yourself a Pep Talk

It’s easy to get down when things are not going your way. After a bad luge run, sometimes I have to walk up and down the track for 20 minutes giving myself a pep talk. “I can do it, I’m going all the way, I will make it cause there’s always a way!”

When you get down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give yourself a pep talk.

* Believe in Yourself and Learn from Your Mistakes

High achievers believe that they are destined to accomplish great things. They believe that the challenges they experience are there to teach them the lessons they need to learn in order to complete their “mission” in life. They believe there is no such thing as failure. They either get the desired outcome or else they learn something that will help them win in the future. By thinking this way, discouragement can’t get a foothold in their mind.

Most successful people fail their way to the top. You could say I crashed my way to the top!

* Recover Quickly

When winners experience challenges, they don’t waste time whining. They keep their eyes on the dream, and then do whatever it takes to recover quickly so they will not lose their momentum. When a boxer gets knocked down, he has only 10 seconds to get back up. If he gets up in eleven seconds, he loses the fight. Remember that the next time you get knocked down.

Next time you get knocked down, decide you will act like a winner. Get up, take action, and make your dream a reality.


Olympic Motivational Speaker Ruben Gonzalez