Our Greatest Lesson from the London 2012 Olympics

How were the Olympic Games for you?

I am still on such a high after the biggest party of my life – I really got involved in the Olympic spirit and attended a few events and watched the main action in London’s high park.

I am so glad that billions of people around the word embraced the London 2012 Olympics.

There were so many life lessons that I would like to share with you that I am not even sure where to begin! Just be prepared for another post soon about striving for excellence.

I experienced many inspirational Olympic moments and I know that so many lives have been impacted in a positive way over the last few weeks. And this is even before we get to see the awesome Para Olympians.

Despite all the doom and gloom before the games started, London pulled it off! This is not just me saying it, even though I am a little biased :-).

Many experts have hailed the London games as the best ever in terms of excitement, crowds, standard of competition and venues. You really had to be here to truly appreciate how great it has been to be in London over the last 2 weeks.

I’ll write more about some of my lessons in future blog posts but for today I would like to share with you what I believe is the greatest lesson of all.

What’s really inspired me is this – seeing how people can come together in a common cause.

Never in my life have I experienced such unity, camaraderie and togetherness. People of all nations truly came together in a spirit of fun, sportsmanship and

For a while we all forgot our day to day challenges and our differences – and together we had the party of our lives!

People have been happy and smiling, and best of all even making eye contact and talking to each other on the London trains!

You have to have lived in London for a while to really appreciate just how revolutionary that is 🙂

The word “legacy” has been used incessantly here in London in regard to what will come after the games. Just how will the London 2012 games impact our lives and the lives of our children?

Yes, we can have more sport in our schools, we can encourage everyone to take up sports and we can make sure that the amazing new venues built for the Olympics continue to serve our communities.

All these things will truly ensure long term benefits for all of us in the UK – this is the time to put more resources and to truly grasp this opportunity to get people to focus on health and fitness.

Yes, we are facing tough economic challenges and public resources are tight. But the long term benefits far outweigh any short term pain.

However, the real legacy will come when we truly acknowledge and accept our differences and use the Olympic experience to show us just what we as a human race are capable of.

It took a huge logistical undertaking to make the London 2012 happen and to make them so successful. Even more important was the desire and willingness in the first place to make it happen.

If we can pull of such a gigantic undertaking, there is nothing we can’t do!

What would the world be like if as a race we decided to eliminate world hunger? We just have to make that decision and then put in an Olympian effort to make it happen. What if we only had 4 years to achieve this?

Surely all it takes is the will and desire?

It all begins with knowing and accepting that ultimately we are all the same and we have the same challenges, dreams and desires. Life is simple – we just complicate it.

I am really inspired to do more work around bringing people and communities together – it doesn’t really need to cost nine billion pounds either which is what the London games cost!

Friends and Friend’s Friends Picnic 2012

10 years ago I had the idea to bring all my friends together for a picnic in Regents Park and I asked them to invite their friends. And hence my famous “Friends and Friend’s Friends Picnic” was born.

This Sunday, we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this picnic!

All it took was a simple idea and this caught people’s imagination.

If you are in London or nearby, please do join us.

Otherwise, how about holding your own picnic this weekend wherever you are in the world?

All it takes is for a few of us to grasp this Olympian opportunity and truly create a lasting legacy.

Let us begin today – just imagine a peaceful world – it’s easy if you try!

Let’s give Peace a Chance!

In the words of John Lennon, I hope one day you’ll join us 🙂

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You, you may say
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


john lennon give peace a chance

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  1. What a beautiful reflection, thank you…and if I was local, I would be at your picnic 🙂

    When I read your words, I feel the enthusiasm about connected-ness and I go beyond that and ask “why”..and I think the answer is that people were authentically present to the experience, with no expectations other than to be present. And were then delighted beyond what they could imagine (whether physically there as you were, or through TV as most of us were) because there weren’t any barriers in the way. So, I fully agree with you…*everything* is possible when we connect in such a way!

    • Joy, the picnic went really well – and I am glad you were there in spirit:-)

      Everything is indeed possible when we connect in such a way – so let’s make it happen that we eliminate world hunger in say 5 years!

  2. Linda C. Thomas says

    An Excellent Post! I too felt the oneness with the world, and it was wonderful. Great games and we now know what happens when we give peace a chance.
    Cheers from Oregon.

    • Linda, welcome to my blog!

      It was a truly amazing and inspiring time to be in London during the Olympics.

      And it was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to come together, regardless of race, colour and creed.

      Linda, keep up the great work you are doing in the area of bringing people of all races together:-)

  3. This is the most exciting thing about a common cause. I love how it dissolves borders and brings people together. I’ve been following your updates on Facebook and know how you feel. I am sure you’ll feel the afterglow for a while 🙂 Hugs!

  4. Jason Harvey says

    I agree with your assessment of the London games. I think it is pretty amazing that 205 countries through all of their political difference come together and compete.

    I can only image what it was like to be there live taking in the spectacle of the games. Definitely a buck list item.

    • Jason, you should definitely put the Rio 2012 games in your bucket list!

      It has been truly amazing how over 200 countries have come together through their political differences. Us Londoners have been part of history in the making:-)

  5. Cathy | Treatment Talk says

    Hi Arvind,

    We loved watching the games out here in California. I know so many have commented that they watched them more than any other Olympics. You have a great post on the real purpose of the games. We all need to keep the good will flowing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I can’t wait for the rest of your ‘stories’ Arvind ~ I love your takeaway from the Games. I’m also grateful for all the updates on what was happening on your FB page…even though it made me a little homesick at times!

    What a great idea…4 years to eliminate hunger. I’m in!

    Love Elle

    • Elle, it’s been truly amazing to be in London for the games!

      No need to be homesick – I’ll keep yo updated about the Paralympics:).

      And yes – we have 4 years to eliminate hunger!

  7. John Hawkins says

    “Surely all it takes is the will and desire?”

    Success – reaching our goals – does take something else; it also takes a plan.

    “Life is simple – we just complicate it.”

    This thought is true and also applies. Atter we come up with a plan, we simply must follow through on it. Such an idea is possible!


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