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Joseph Schooling + the GOAT | Week 40 | Confidence Revolution

Joseph Schooling + the GOAT | Week 40 | Confidence Revolution

This was Joseph Schooling in 2008. He was 13 years old and at that point had lived in Singapore his entire life.

As a young boy, Joseph began training as a serious swimmer and in 2008 when the US Swim team trained in Singapore, Joseph got to meet one of his heroes, Michael Phelps.

In 2009 Joseph Schooling moved to Jacksonville, Florida and began more serious swim training, setting his sights on one day competing and beating Michael Phelps. RIDICULOUS, SINCE HE WAS ONLY 14 AND MICHAEL PHELPS HAD ALREADY SECURED 22 GOLD MEDALS.

We all know Phelps just retired as the GOAT (greatest-of-all-time -- you see, I keep up with trends!) decorated with 28 medals, but what happened to Schooling?

Well, Schooling is now 21, attends The University of Texas at Austin ( Hook ‘Em!) and most recently earned the FIRST EVER GOLD MEDAL for his home country of Singapore. You see, he swam the 100m butterfly and oh yeah, BEAT MICHAEL PHELPS.

The headlines read:

  • “Joseph Schooling, the boy who beat Michael Phelps eight years after meeting his Olympic hero.”
  • “21-year-old Schooling was just 13 when he met his idol. Now, he's beaten the most successful Olympian of all time and become Singapore's first ever gold medalist.” 
  • “Joseph Schooling rocked the swimming world when he defeated the most successful Olympic athlete of all time in Michael Phelps, eight years after he met the 22-time gold medalist as a young boy.”
  • “21-year-old Schooling triumph in the thrilling 100m butterfly final that saw Singapore claim its first ever Olympic gold medal.”
  • “Phelps was beaten by a 21-year-old who grew up idolizing the most decorated athlete in Olympic history.”

When asked about his triumph, Schooling responded, "That's pretty crazy, what happens in eight years.”

Yes, yes it is.

Guys, I dream BIG.

I’ve watched 5,674 hours of Oprah. I have watched so much I know that when she interviews authors, she picks a few sentences she loves from their books, flags them and reads the prose back to them. Oprah will read the sentence and say something like, “ I love that!,” or “Tell me more about that,” or “That’s good.”

And when I was writing my book, The Courage to Become, (out in December!), once in while I would write a really good sentence and I would see Oprah sitting across from me. And I would hear her reading the sentence back to me. Just as I have seen her do with other authors. Just me and my gal, Oprah, discussing The Courage to Become.

That sounds insane right? I know.

But so does a 13 year old trying to beat the most decorated Olympic athlete of ALL TIME.

So many of us fear dreaming BIG, seeking BIG, reaching BIG – because we’re afraid of what happens if we don’t reach the top of the mountain.

But, I would encourage you to flip that and ask yourself, what happens if I dream small, seek small and reach small?

If Schooling didn’t beat Phelps would we have looked down on him? NO. If I don’t ever sit across from Oprah will I be a failure? NO -- because I will have tried and stumbled and tried again and enriched myself and others in the process.

Don’t be afraid to dream BIG and to dream OUT LOUD. The only thing standing between you and the top of your mountain is a clear goal and devotion. If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit. 

love and grace, catia

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