Achieve Your Dreams! Tips from US Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer

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Kids and I had an opportunity to meet the US Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Aaron Peirsol last summer in an event organized by Auro-Dri, and meeting him was very inspirational for all of us.

When I watch the Olympics and see the athletes and their dreams coming true, I feel so inspired to work towards my own dreams too. Do you feel the same way?

I wanted re-post a few things I wrote inspired by meeting the Olympic Gold Medalist Aaron Peirsol last summer, and share some of his tips for achieving your dreams. Many of these tips are meant for aspiring Olympic athletes, but I think they apply to many of those big dreams we want to come true.

Aaron Peirsol’s best tip how to live life to the fullest and he said “find something you love, then it doesn’t feel like work, just have fun with it”. As anyone knows, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and Aaron said that you have to work hard for your dreams, and he for example started training daily when he just 11 years old. Are you working hard achieving your dreams?

I think we tend to think other people’s dreams come true easier than ours. Sure, sometimes people get lucky, or they have money, or know right people, heck, sometimes even all of them and that helps them succeed. But some people can also have the right settings for success, and they never make it. Success starts from within. You have to know what to do with the money, know how to act when opportunity knocks, know how to work with the right people you know. Success starts with YOU.

Take control of achieving your dreams and follow these tips inspired by Aaron Peirsol’s swim coaching tips.

Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist

Work with your teammates to challenge yourselves on a daily basis.

You need a team around you – none of the Olympic athletes made it there alone, and most likely you can’t achieve your dream alone either. You need a team around you to support and challenge you. Good teammates are not just “yes-men” who agree with you on every step, they challenge you to become the best you can.

Aaron Peirsol always has had an amazing support group supporting and helping him, but also other swimmers in the Olympic team have been very supportive to each others.

Believe in your coaches and your training regimen.

Trusting your “training regimen” or anything important when it comes to your dream to someone else’s hands is scary. We just have to trust and believe in people and systems that are built to help us.

What you do outside of the “pool” counts!

What you do when you are not working on “your dream” matters. You can not focus on building something important for you and take the next day off from it and doing something potentially taking your steps away from your goal.

You need to be able to walk the walk all the time, and keep focus on your dream also when you are outside the settings where it’s done. Olympic swimmer’s time in the pool isn’t the only thing that makes him achieve his dreams – it’s every step he takes outside the pool too.

Use starts and turns to your advantage.

Use starts and turns to your advantage. Think of turns as something to perfect and get ahead, not a place to rest. While this tip may sound too much like a swimmer’s tip – I love it!

When you get a big break or succeed and get to a turning point where you could potentially have a little breather and maybe even pat yourself in the back for getting to the turning point, don’t. That’s the point when you should add fuel and amplify the moment and success by working even harder to really get ahead in the game. And find those turning points when many people “take rest” and learn to excel in those. If you are thinking when you have time to work on your “dream” – these “turning points” may be your answer.

What is your dream that you want to accomplish?
Are you working towards it with the same dedication as Olympic athletes work towards theirs?

About Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal is an international lifestyle expert, originally from Finland. Katja shows how to live globally inspired life to the fullest. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks. She is a board member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, award-winning social media strategist, and a well-known speaker in the social media conferences. Katja has lived in four different countries, and seven states in the USA, and married to a helicopter pilot. Their three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners.

Get Katja's first book Instagram as your Guide to the World - How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World for free, and follow Katja's travel account @skimbaco on Instagram.


  1. I have this thought: when we face numerous obstacles in our journey towards accomplishing our dreams, does it mean that we are being tested for our commitment, or is it the other way around – is nature telling us to give up and find an alternative? How do we know that it is time to let go? Sometimes dreams hinder our very happiness and stop us from pursuing other things that might give us different kind of joy. Perhaps we need to “spring clean” our dreams from time to time?

  2. What I love about his tips are that they aren’t exclusive to being successful in the Olympics – hard work and determination work across the board!

  3. I love this: “find something you love, then it doesn’t feel like work, just have fun with it”.

    That is my life’s mantra. If only everyone could be so lucky to be doing that they love.

  4. This is amazing and what a great opportunity for your children. I remember when I was 12 I met the US Olympic Women’s Volleyball Team. That is an experience I will never forget and continues to inspire me. Committing to a goal and dedicating yourself to it is the name of the game.

  5. I agree, it has to be fun so you want to work your hardest. I am very goal oriented so when I transitioned from teacher to writer, I had a lot of learning and late nights but I loved it so it was worth every minute of hard work.

  6. A lot of what he says has to do with working toward your goal, but he also mentions attitude. And that is so important. He’s a role model for many.

  7. He’s so right on all of his points. I think the one that hits home the most is “what you do outside the pool is what counts”. Every single thing you do either moves you closer to your goal or takes steps from it. I think it’s important to remember this on your “days off”. Wait? There are days off in entrepreneurship?? HA!

  8. Love hearing his advice! In watching the Olympics, I’ve been quite curious about how they seem to “do it” – what’s going on behind the scenes, what they’re mindset is like. Nice to have a little peek ;)

  9. These are great. I notice like most athletes, he says “work” and “train” a lot. No one ever got ahead by being lazy!


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