It was the day of the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea.

As you can imagine, the day was busy with people still arriving and conducting final preparations. There was a familiar buzz and energy in the air with teams getting dressed in their national uniforms bustling to get ready for the big moment. It had all come down to this.

The magic and energy on that day felt fresh and new with a feeling of anticipation, possibility and a big dose of the unknown.

As I watched the ceremony that night from our team lounge, I posted an article entitled “Be More. Be Olympic.” where I wrote:

So being “more” to me is about making the day to day improvements, while growing and learning Every. Single. Day. It’s what you are focusing on in the moment that counts; and it’s about doing what others may not be prepared to do to get there. Success is simply the consequence of your actions, behaviours and choices while maintaining your perspective on the big picture.

Canada had a very good Games, its best ever, by being more and being Olympic.

Two years later, a deep expression of this same vision has inspired the creation of First Water Performance to help individuals, teams and groups reach new heights.

In elite performance sport, there is no single recipe for success. There is no one solution or silver bullet. It is about adopting certain foundational attitudes or mindsets, of which there are many to choose from.

Combining Olympic experience and mindful performance enhancement – The First Water Way – is based on three foundational attitudes for sustainable high performance.

Uncovering Potential

In life, our only goal is to be ourselves – everyone else is taken.

This can be difficult to achieve in a world full of comparison and judgement. It starts with a deep acceptance of things just as they are. By uncovering the potential that already exists in all of us through cultivating greater awareness and clarity of our strengths and our limiting narratives; we can respond to difficulty by moving forward with greater courage.

“Mindfulness is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at its core is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

Trusting Ourselves

As we reveal more of our potential, the practice is to then get out of our own way.

This involves being open to insight and creative inspiration from beyond a place of intellect. It means trusting ourselves, the process and cultivating non-attachment to future outcomes. To generate greater inner clarity in this way is to solve problems and bring something new to the world, beyond what was previously thought possible.

"In the beginner's mind there are many opportunities; in the expert's mind there are few." - Shuntyu Suzuki

Our Common Purpose

As humans, we thrive through belonging, connection and sense of common humanity.

It is less about individual success or winning the day, as it is about giving back and being part of something that is bigger than ourselves. Often when struggling we can feel isolated and alone, as if we are the only ones who have ever felt this way before, but together, we are stronger, especially when working towards a common purpose.

There may be many approaches to getting “there”, but one thing is certain – it always starts with setting an intention and then adopting a humble acceptance that we never know exactly how things will work out.

When we set out to achieve the impossible, success might be rare… But the ultimate celebration – learning and transforming – can always be guaranteed when pursued mindfully  – and this can be trained.

We look forward to working with the First Water community in building this vision together.

Mindfulness when it matters most and when it matters most is up to you.