So let’s talk about perfect days where everything goes according to plan. Where all the ducks line up and everything happens effortlessly.
When I was a teenager I remember sitting glued to the TV to watch the 1976 Montreal Olympics. I still remember Nadia Comanich the Russian gymnast achieving the perfect ten. You can’t imagine the thrill I got from witnessing that event as a teenager. It was awe inspiring. You can YouTube her event and see what I mean.
I remember reading about the amazing race between Roger Bannister and John Landy billed the race of the century between the two fastest sub-four-minute milers on the planet. Neck and neck and then Bannister simply takes off to the finish line. Then I discovered the race is on YouTube! Sixty years later it is still a thrill to watch. Watch the YouTube.
I remember Usain Bolt winning both the 100 and 400m at Beijing 2008, then London 2012 Olympics and then again in Rio 2016. (Honestly, if you are ever flat and sad go and you seriously want to be uplifted go to YouTube and search for great Olympic moments.)
But the race that does it for me is the I Kieren Perkins 1500m swim at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
It was pure electricity. Kieren entered that race knowing he was pitted against Daniel Kowolski. Perkins entered the race defending campion but underdog to the favourite. The race stated strongly, but for some reason Perkins got into his stride and just bit by bit pulled away from the ‘fleet’ and then suddenly upped the ante and increased his lead even more so.
You cannot imagine a more inspiring thing for a distance swimmer to increase their rate and keep it going and going.
Perkins simply said: It was one of those days when everything … just went right.
There was not a dry eye in our household. There was the ecstatic, cheering jubilant spectators at the Atlanta stadium … and the commentators … wildly calling what is in anyone’s books one of the most exciting events in swimming history. In anyone’s book it was an amazing swim.
I remember see cricketer, Mark Taylor equal Sir Donald Bradman’s batting record … and then retire. Taylor was humbled by the occasion and felt he didn’t want to even surpass the great Sir Donald Bradman’s record.
He could have – but he didn’t. Other cricketer since with no such sentimental qualms have pushed through that score. But despite the win, Taylor is remembered for the way he retired. His gesture was not lost and when people talk of cricketing greats they always mention Taylor’s magnanimous concession. Perfect.
This was such an amazing and emotional day in cricket wondering if Taylor would push on to a new world record. Taylor is there … hat in one hand and bat waving in the air. The crowd are all on their feet applauding. Here is one great cricketing legend making the ultimate commitment to another. It’s was a very emotional moment not lost on a legion of cricket fans worldwide.
But here’s THE perfect day.
I remember my wife and I sitting in Paris in the Latin Quarter at 4pm in brisk winter afternoon chill … rugged up … gloves and scarves … sipping coffee … watching the pigeons fly over the Notre Dame Cathedral as the sun was setting. The evening bustle of people going home … the River Seine … the chimes … the evening lights from the cafes and restaurants coming on. Being on holiday and in love.
Some days are just perfect.
Some days present so many opportunities to be awe struck. To be so grateful.
You need to stay alert to those perfect days. When the world is simply – right.
OK, YOUR TURN
What has been your perfect day? And what are you grateful for?
Andrew Priestley is a qualified business leadership coach with clients worldwide. He is the author of The Money Chimp, Starting and How Money Flows Through Your Business. You can contact him through www.andrewpriestley.com
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