During the past week three individuals showed that they are performing at the top of their game. Tiger Woods won his second British Open and tenth major professional golf tournament. J.K. Rowling’s sixth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has sold over six million copies in one day (a blockbuster title in the book business is one that sells a mere 500,000 copies over its life). Lance Armstrong is well on his way to winning an unprecedented seventh consecutive victory in the Tour de France. All three have risen to greater heights of achievement years after they had amassed enough wealth to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
Clearly, these extraordinary individuals have not been motivated by money, else they would have retired long ago to enjoy the fruits of their accomplishments. We can be armchair psychologists and speculate on what drives these stellar performers. Perhaps it’s a desire to fulfill their parents' dreams, or to attain a kind of earthly immortality by setting records that will never be broken. Whatever their reasons, it’s a welcome reminder that human beings, who all too often inflict harm and even destruction, are also capable of great accomplishment and creativity.