Olympics Bring Us Awe and Inspiration
The 2016 Olympic Games start tomorrow in Rio. I can’t wait! The Olympics are fun to watch for many reasons. I especially like the feelings of awe and inspiration that I experience as the athletes demonstrate their impressive skills.
Awe is a feeling of being overwhelmed with greatness. It’s a collective emotion that helps bond us together. Studies have shown that people who experience more awe are more generous and helpful to others. That’s because awe shifts our attention away from ourselves and to something bigger. UC Berkley professor Dacher Keltner has a great talk on the health and well-being benefits of awe.
Nature is a great source of awe. The ocean, mountains, sunsets, and the night sky can all bring us a sense of wonder. Art, music, and religion can also inspire awe. Awe comes from experiencing something astonishing. That’s where the Olympics come in. Watching Olympic athletes compete is pretty awesome (which, by the way, means causing or inducing awe).
How often have you heard people refer to athletic performances as awe-inspiring? Most Olympic athletes have spent their entire lives preparing for this moment. We will witness stunning achievements. Records will be broken. We will be amazed by the superhuman feats we observe. The Opening Ceremony and panoramic images of Rio de Janeiro may also be sources of awe.
Seeing people do their best inspires us to want to do our best, too. We are motivated to be better, to push ourselves to achieve our goals, to make a difference in the world, to be awesome. The hard work and dedication it takes to become an Olympic athlete is truly inspiring!
I hope you find time to tune in to the Olympics to be inspired and to savor moments of awe. Wouldn’t it be great if we all watch the Olympic Games and are motivated by the performances we see to be more generous and to strive to be our very best?
Please come back here to share the moments from the 2016 Olympic Games that you find most awe-inspiring.
And if you can’t wait until tomorrow, you can watch some amazing Olympic moments right now in the video for Katy Perry’s Olympic song “Rise”. Let the chills begin!