5: Josh Davis - Winning Gold

To get the most out of life, find the combination in identity that overlaps desire, needs, and service. Searching for true identity involves getting in touch with purpose and values. Simplify these concepts by thinking of the ideas as using unique gifts and perspectives that develop with life experience. If that still seems too complicated, there’s a simpler way to think about it, and this episode talks about how to step into that idea.

Originally, I didn’t plan on having two guests immediately after each other, but the timing was right. Today’s conversation is held with Josh Davis, an Olympic gold medalist. Josh is most recognized for winning three gold medals during the 1996 Olympics, then, he would later gain two more medals as team captain during the 2000 Olympics.

Josh has the ability to speak to passion, discipline, identity, and changing seasons. After the Olympics, Josh continues to fill his life with swimming. He held swim clinics, participated in Masters swimming, began a college swimming program that he coaches, and still maintains time for personal practice. Alongside filling his own life, he serves and pours into others.

In Josh’s perspective, using unique gifts to empower others is better than winning a gold medal. He mentions that he loves to use his passion to inspire the next generation, and stays connected with his colleagues who also love swimming. Josh explains that he empowers others through speaking engagements where there is a chance to express what he learned over the years. He says that Olympic stories transcend sports into stories of overcoming, hope, and doing our best.

What Josh learned most is that purpose involves spending time in the things that bring joy. Realizing how to tap into personal joy and spark joy in others helps nudge life towards an authentic Life Calling. Listen to hear the three sets of words Josh keeps in mind that help clarify where to aim his joy that leads his purpose.

Time stamps:

  • [01:07] - Josh Davis is known as an Olympic powerhouse, and made significant contributions to the USA swimming team. Still today, Josh remains heavily involved with swimming.
  • [03:40] - I bring up a memory about how Josh actually coached for a swim camp I attended.
  • [06:36] - Josh shares his feelings about being a speaker, and the impacts he makes on others.
  • [08:12] - Josh recalls when his Olympic medals were stolen. 
  • [10:25] - When did Josh first dream of going to the Olympics?
  • [12:00] - Josh’s coach did this one thing to re-inspire Josh to work intentionally towards winning an Olympic gold medal.
  • [14:37] - Hear Josh define his understanding of Life Calling. He uses three sets of words to bring clarity to his direction.
  • [17:10] - Josh says every mom deserves a gold medal, and talks about raising six children with his wife.
  • [19:24] - Josh expresses the evolution of the swimming college program he created.
  • [21:41] - Being a leader in a coaching setting requires a different set of skills from Josh.
  • [24:31] - How does Josh keep his sense of “self” healthy?
  • [26:10] - Invest life in the things that give you the most joy for the longest amount of time.
  • [28:15] - Does Josh consider swimming consequential or coincidental in relation to his life journey?
  • [29:51] - What do you use as your means to fully live your Life Calling? Josh recalls the promises he made to himself.
  • [32:52] - Josh encourages people to take care of themselves without falling into the trap of distraction.


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