Next Mountain

Athlete engaged in the race of super g , giant slalom downhill alpine ski racer professional

For Olympics fans, the unthinkable happened. The alpine racer, Mikaela Shiffrin fell in both of her first two races, the Giant Slalom and Slalom. Both times she posted a DNF or did not finish.

Mountain conditions are precarious, where a wind shift, cloud shadow, or unexpected icy patch can ruin years of preparation. Training is essential, but also luck and the right conditions must coincide for success. Shiffrin’s accidents are heartbreaking, but if she holds onto her pain and disappointment, it could dash her hopes in her upcoming events. Shiffrin needs to turn her attention to the next mountain.

Like downhill racers, speakers face technical glitches, bad nights’ sleep, travel hang-ups, sore throats and bad audiences. (Yes, they exist…) We have to prepare and have backup. For instance, if you use PowerPoint, rehearse without it-- just in case. Have a friend interrupt you with questions, which happens. Purchase and pack a microphone that works for you. And bring extra wardrobe—you’ll thank us when you have what you need.

Some days, the magic doesn’t work. You’ll fail to meet your expectations. Pivot. Like Mikaela Shiffrin, focus on the next assignment. Take time to analyze why you didn’t succeed, but don’t hold on to the defeat. Put it in the rearview mirror or it will tank you. Instead, visualize yourself speeding down the next mountain-- completely in control and thrilling the crowd. Mi-kae-la!!!

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