It was the year 1996 Olympics at Atlanta, USA. It was the 1.5km race. A young man, Hicham El Guerrouj (his fans call him El-G) was on the verge of winning when he trail second behind the front runner, an Algerian.  At the bell, indicating the last lap, he makes his move in attempting to overtake the Algerian; then he accidentally kicked the front runner’s ankle while avoiding another runner. Both fell. The Algerian balances himself and went on to win the race. El-G picked himself up and finished last. He cried his heart out; it was a sad day for him, unable to achieve his gold medal dream.


Hicham El Guerrouj didn’t give up and the following few months, he competed in the mile, 1.5km and 5km went on to become the world champion since 1997.


He was the favorite to win the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, he came in second as the first two runner’s race to the finishing point. He lost to another much hungrier Kenyan. Again, he was unable to achieve his gold medal dream. It was a sticky situation for him having gave his best and yet failed in his goal of winning an olympic medal. Should he quit?


El-G didn’t give up and at a late age of almost 30, he went on to outrun another Kenyan in a thrilling finish to win the 2004 Athens Olympics, eight years after he first competed in the Olympics.


At specific point of his journey, El-G assessed where he was then and how he had gotten there. When he failed in 1996, he went on to beat the winner in the professional circuit. He re-assesses himself and continued to win the world championship in 1997.


In 2000 Sydney Olympics, he came in second. He did likewise to take stock of the situation, decide on his next goal and map out a new training plan.


Eventually, in 2004 at the Athens Olympics, he made it to achieve his goal of becoming an Olympic champion after completing another round of taking stock of the situation, deciding on his next goal and coming out with a new roadmap.


I’ve learned from El-G that assessing where we are; knowing where we want to go by setting goals; and painting a roadmap would bring us a class higher than the rest.