Broken Specs and a Gold Medal

Broken Specs and a Gold Medal

I wrote the following piece in a recent email:

Once a year, I attend an optical conference, to keep up to date with the latest developments in
the industry, and to pick the brains of other like-minded practice owners!

The venue this year was great – Lords Cricket ground! Any Cricket fan will know that this is the most historic and idyllic setting. An added benefit was a guided tour of the ground and MCC museum.

Although the next Cricket match to be played there was more than 2 months away, I was amazed at the care and attention the playing field and ‘pitch’ was given – a hidden lesson for a business owner!

Anyway, on to my woes!! As you might imagine in an optical conference, a very high percentage of opticians are wearing glasses, and their best pair at that. It’s almost a competition of who’s got the trendiest, or wackiest frame.

As usual, a little unorganised, I rushed down to London with my spare pair of glasses, with my latest pair nowhere to be seen (kids fault again obviously!). Lo and behold on the first morning, I clean my glasses a little too vigorously, and SNAP, they break at the bridge!!

I then have the dilemma of either attending the conference with no glasses (and poor vision), or humiliating myself by entering the unofficial ‘best specs’ competition with a broken pair!! I chose the latter, and thankfully, with the snapped bridge wedged against my nose, I avoided the extra embarrassment of the lens dropping out!

Moral of the story – take care when cleaning your glasses, and always have a spare pair!!

At the same conference, the guest speaker was 1992 Great Britain Gold medal winner Sally Gunnell. Of course, she wasn’t there to talk about how to perform an eye exam! Her talk was about motivation, goal-setting, resilience, and how she managed to use this to become the best in the world at her event (400m Hurdles).

Overcoming failure, and using it as a positive, was in Sally’s mind vitally important. I’ve heard similar statements from sporting greats such as Michael Jordan (i.e. he missed more goal attempts than he scored). Even the very best have to suffer major setbacks in their lives and careers, before moving on to bigger and better achievements. It’s those who have the resilience to learn from failure and persevere, that are most likely to succeed. It certainly not easy at the time, but when we fail, or face tough times, Gunnell stresses the importance of using that to build our character, and make us stronger for the next challenge.

Her rise from ‘girl next door’ to Olympic champion was a very inspiring story, and getting to hold a 32 year old Olympic Gold medal was a real treat.

Broken Specs and a Gold Medal