The Olympics are over. The last giant, inflatable beaver has left the building. Plushenko and his "platinum" medal are back in Russia. And Canada goes back to work, moose antler hat put away for another time. This Olympics, for me and many others, will go down as the BEST Olympics, and for many will remain just that - a fond memory. Yet there are lessons to be learned from these games and these athletes that we can all apply to our own lives to make them brighter and juicier and more fully lived.

1. You have to risk big to win big! This was the first lesson that really struck me from the Olympics. Watching Charles Hamelin win gold and seeing the supreme elation on his face (and, even more adorable, the face of his girlfriend, fellow speed-skater Marianne St-Gelais - watch this video to see what I mean), I realized that I will most likely never feel that kind of relief, joy and intense emotion. However, I will also not likely feel the intense disappointment that we saw on Melissa Hollingsworth's face as she tearily apologized to Canada for "letting us down". The lesson? If you want to experience the joys, the highs and the passion of life, you need to be willing to risk the falls and the disappointments. There's no way around it.
2. You can't please everybody so STOP TRYING! Say what you will about the closing ceremonies - they definitely went for it! They had an idea and an inspiration and they ran with it. Some hated it, some loved it, but it was hard to feel nothing about it. I have always said - "I would rather have 10 people hate me and 10 people love me than 20 people forget me". Don't dumb yourself or your life down to try to please the masses. You will fail at pleasing everyone, and at the same time you will dilute what makes you special so that no one really gets a chance to feel PASSIONATELY about you!
3. The Good and the Bad will always be there, but you can choose what you focus on. The opening ceremonies were bar-none the most amazing I have yet to see. Yet a major point of focus was the failure of the mechanical arm to the cauldron to raise. KD Lang nearly broke my heart with her soulful rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah. The northern lights, polar bear, dancing through fields of wheat to Joni Mitchell, and the fiddlers were all amazing. But if you were the person ranting about the mechanical failure instead of the beauty all around you, I ask you this - where else in your life are you seeing the dirt and not the diamonds?
4. Have a sense of humor about yourself! Speaking of the mechanical problem - in the closing ceremonies they made a joke about the 4th arm of the cauldron. You are going to make mistakes. How can I be so sure? You're human. Just embrace it and have a sense of humor about it. And the thing is, the more joy and passion you want to feel for life, the more chances you will have to take. The more you put yourself out there, the more you are going to make a fool of yourself. So you may as well be laughing along with the rest of us!
5. All things End. The loss of Nodar Kumaritashvili at the Olympics was heartbreaking. Joannie Rochette's mothers passing was also very saddening. This too is life. Everything ends. This is not meant to be bleak or dark, but instead a cycle we must enter into with less fear. Neither your joy nor your sorrow is permanent. Ernest Hemingway said, "The world breaks all of us; some of us are stronger in the broken places." It is not the losses or wins that will define you. It is how you come out of them.

Wishing you a magical life, from opening ceremony to your closing!

Author's Bio: 

Kristi Shmyr, owner of Prana Holistic Healing Center, helps people reach their fullest and brightest potential with Extreme Goal Getting Bootcamp! Helping people get clear on their goals and helping them get past reasons and into results is her passion! Check out for more information!