One such sport was hockey. When younger I used to play quite a bit of rugby, quite a physical game in itself, but nothing in comparison to hockey. The ball seemingly made of concrete flies around at ridiculous speeds whilst opponents try to take your head off with a stick. Or so it appeared to the uninitiated.
The GB women's hockey team had one goal in mind. To win the Gold medal. Their utter focus and determination honed over four years (if not more) of preparation was in coming away from the Olympics on top.
Sadly it was not to be, and having lost in the semi final to the eventual winners, the tears streaming down their faces created a lump in my otherwise manly throat.
Heart broken I am sure, the captain Kate Walsh, decided to revise their objective (a wise thing to do if the objective is no longer possible) and create a new must achieve position, which was to win Bronze. They subsequently did with all the gusto that their new stretch goal required.
For those of us this week who have 18 year olds as children, relations or friends we should keep this lesson in mind. A Level results create elation and disappointment across the country as these young adults come to terms with the next steps in their lives.
Those unfortunates, who did not quite make the grades that allow their first choice, now need to take a step back, recalibrate and revise their objectives to make the very best of the change in circumstance.
Churchill defined success as the ability to go from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.
Commercially sometimes we are unable to achieve our intended goals. That is not to say that we shouldn't have them, or that we should not strive for them with ambition. But if we realize for whatever reason they are unattainable we have be able to refocus our efforts on the best possible outcome.
Alan Smith, Scotwork UK.