The Paralympic’s lesson for us, entrepreneurs

Effort, Discipline, Love – it is needed everything to succeed

The Olympic Games were a big party, and it was not guaranteed but expected. What has surprised us is the success and attention that the Paralympics got.

Surely, seeing 4 (four!) paralympic athletes running the 1,500 meters with paces that would win the gold prize at the Olympic Games in the month before is a news that gets us open mouthed. The two million tickets sold, that puts Rio 2016 in the second place of the biggest Paralympics editions, is also memorable. But what touches our inmost are the examples of athletes’ overcoming.

To go beyond the boundaries… but what are the boundaries?

Each sport requires effort, and a continuum effort. It needs dedication, determination, planning, discipline and to go beyond the easy, obvious and our limits.

Seeing it in people with any disability makes us stop and compare ourselves with them. What we perceive as barriers are indeed barriers? Or is it how we name our excuses? What stops us from going after what we like, at the end of the day?

The paralympic athletes’ barrier is a situation that tests them on their edge, making them even consider euthanasia. Usually, our business difficulties are much smaller, but it is still essential to us learning how to deal with them.

The life is beautiful

In this meaning, I got marked by an athlete: Zanardi – F1 and Fórmula Indy ex-pilot -, who had his two legs cut off, stood 15 minutes without blood and had to be revitalized 7 times. He got back to running in cars, dedicated himself to cycling and won 4 paralympic medals at London. Talking about his disability, he said: “In the past, I used to ask myself what would I do if something like this happened. The answer I used to give me is that I would kill myself. But, when it happened to me, it did not come to my mind. I was happy to be alive.”

And, after winning the gold prize at Rio, he said: “It is simply amazing. I just have to be thankful. I feel like I am a very lucky guy.”

This made me wonder about how it is true that “life is beautiful”, and how it is worth facing it.

It is not needed to be super heros

Or, even more, Mônica Santos, a Brazilian fencer. She agreed to become paraplegic because – pregnant – the cure to avoid her pregnancy complications would kill her fetus. “It wasn’t a religious thing. Was a human thing… At the moment I didn’t even think about being in favour or against the abortion. The fact is that I wanted to have a baby, there was a life there and I didn’t want to take away that life.”

It is in what we love, not in our strength, that we are able to find energy for all the sacrifices, dedication and effort that life demands from us.

Silvia Caironi

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