The Fastest Man in the World Talks About His Mindset and Wellness Habits
Usain Bolt learned how to lose before he learned how to win. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary sprinter also loves the occasional KFC. Yes, the fastest man in the world embraces moderation and has experienced failure.
You might also be surprised to learn that making dental care accessible in his home country is a cause close to his heart. So close that he has partnered with MedTech company SprintRay Inc. to launch Bolt Labs powered by SprintRay, an initiative that will establish dental clinics, including 3D dental labs and a mobile unit, in Jamaica, where there is one dentist for every 100,000 people and one dentist for every 300,000 people in rural areas.
We caught up with Bolt to learn more about his mindset and wellness habits and inspire you on your own journey to greatness. Here are eight of his success tips to help you achieve your goals, whether you’re pushing yourself at the gym or aiming for a promotion.
Understand What You Want
As a child, Bolt first trained to be a cricket player. His coach noticed his speed and suggested he try track and field, which he ultimately chose to focus on as a teenager. And that meant he had to learn how to make choices and understand his desires and priorities in order to evolve. “At the start I didn’t understand what I wanted around track and field, and, over the years, I understood that I wanted to be the best,” he says.
Knowing what you want is the first step. But being willing to do whatever it takes to turn your vision into a reality is key, according to Bolt.
“I figured out that I needed to work hard and be determined to push myself at the highest level,” he shares. “And, at the end, when I got to the top, it was about understanding that the workload won’t change but only get harder and tougher because that’s the level it takes to get to the top and stay there.”
“You have to be tough mentally and physically and resilient because it won’t be easy. It wasn’t easy for me, I went through injuries, I went through doubts, I went through tough times. So that’s something that I always understood and learned at an early age, which really helped me conquer my doubts,” says Bolt.
So cultivating resilience will help you keep going when the going gets tough, but developing that kind of mental toughness also comes from experiencing those difficult moments and moving through them.
Foster a Growth Mindset
“And you have to accept that there will be downfalls. If you are the type of person who thinks there won’t be many failures, it will be hard on you when you actually fail.”
Note that Bolt said “when” and not “if” you actually fail. The irony of winning is that the path to being first on that finish line is paved with painful losses, detours and mistakes. If you foster a growth mindset by anticipating that there will be failure and choosing to learn from it, you will improve instead of staying stuck or giving up.
“When I just started out, my coach said to me, ‘You have to learn how to lose before you can learn how to win.’ Accepting failure and learning from it will only make you better,” adds Bolt.
The idea of consistency over time also bleeds into the Olympian’s health and wellness habits, which are surprisingly simple and moderate these days. He rides his Peloton bike for about 30 minutes a day and does cardio such as skipping rope with a workout buddy. “I don’t do much weights, but I focus on my core and back because I have scoliosis so I try to keep my core strong,” he shares.
As far as diet goes, no extremes on that front either. “I try to eat as many vegetables as possible, not eat too much rice or fatty foods, and at times I do have a little KFC here and there and stuff like that.”
Regardless of your unique objectives and approach, one thing is for sure: You need to build and sustain self-belief to achieve your goals. Like Bolt puts it, you have to believe you are going to win in order to get there, even while knowing there will be failures along the way.
“[Believe in yourself and your dreams.] No matter what. You should always believe you’re going to win. The moment you show up and feel like you’re going to lose, you’re going to lose.”
Find Your People
And even with the mindset of a winner, you need to be well-surrounded to achieve anything. “Find a good team around you that has the same mentality as you and wants the same things as you, that’s the first thing,” says Bolt.
Prioritize Giving Back
Finally, even though he’s accomplished things some pro athletes only dream of and is now pursuing goals such as growing his music career (he recently released his debut dancehall album Country Yutes), Bolt has always found the time to give back.
“For me it’s always important to give back. I always prioritize this. My foundation is big on trying to help Jamaica and the people in Jamaica,” he says. “So to join SprintRay and get a mobile bus to help people with dental care is very important to me because I understand the needs and necessities in Jamaica.”