Last night we watched Guo Jingjing of China win her fourth gold medal for diving (shown in a prior competition above, the NBC breaking-news version is still under some form of IP protection…) and thought:
Man, what composure.
The pressure on Guo was intense, but at the end of her final dive, when she slipped into the water like an arrow from the sky and gold was assured, Guo climbed out of the pool, turned to the crowd and made a gracious bow, with no hint of pride on her face. She simply seemed a hard worker after a job well done.
We can’t imagine such restraint, being an American who competes with others every day over contracts and client work and results and credibility. In the United States, white-collar workers tend to drive themselves to 60 hour weeks trying to get ahead, or stay afloat, and in our off time we dally on Facebook and Twitter and blogs trying to make further names for ourselves. I’m not sure how much is driven by greed or demand for recognition, but seeing how many other bloggers send their own links around promoting their ideas, we bet a lot.
Ego is a scary trap and something we fall into. We were celebrating a minor PR success yesterday when we stumbled upon a Twitter message by brand visionary @darrylohrt, who wrote “people who only tweet about their own blog posts pretty much suck.” It sounds harsh, out of context, but as Darryl jotted this note to a friend, we felt the pang: Who hasn’t done this?
Maybe social media and business performance have more to do with achieving results than post-glory grandeur. Here’s to people like Jingjing, who hit the mark and take it in stride.