This weekend my wife and I watched the feel good movie “Eddie the Eagle,” based on the true story of Eddie Edwards (whose real name is Michael), the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who captivated the world at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. The movie had many of the elements I love to coach, talk and write about—dedication, enthusiasm, resolve, perseverance and a steadfast attitude that refuses to stop believing and pursuing one’s dreams.
Eddie himself said that “only about 5 percent of “Eddie the Eagle” is a true story.” As I was watching, it did seem like much of the story might have been made up by script writers. But while the movie may have stretched the truth when it comes to facts about his true life story (at least as Eddie recollects) it does document his determination, drive and enthusiasm for life with great accuracy. The real life account of Eddie’s ski jumping (as I learned) seemed to be every bit as dedicated, exciting and significant for Eddie as the one brought to life on the big screen.
Reflecting on his Calgary moment 28 years later, in 2016 Edwards told People Magazine, “It was never about winning or losing at the ‘88 Winter Olympics in Calgary.” “For me, getting to those Olympic Games was my gold medal.” “Even though I came 58th, that didn’t really matter, the fact that I got there in the end and lived my dream that was the most important thing.” The now 52-year-old ski jumper added, “I was standing on top of the ski jumps in Calgary and thinking, wow, this is it. I’m an Olympian.”
How about you? What do you believe about yourself? How determined are you to ask, seek, knock and pursue your own dreams, no matter what? Even dogged efforts (like Eddie’s) won’t guaranteed fame or fortune or a life large enough to someday be brought to life on the big screen. We may in fact come in last in our pursuits, whatever they may be. But take it from Eddie (and me) in the end living dreams is the most important thing. When we do we are guaranteed to have and enjoy a life every bit as engaging and noteworthy as the life of Eddie the Eagle Edwards.
William “Bud” Hart is a certified “Mindset” Coach, Accountability Partner and Business Consultant. Visit Hart Group, www.hartgroupma.com for more on coaching.