Lim issued the challenge a day after the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics.
The mayor noted that while host and traditional powerhouse China fielded 639 athletes to compete in all 28 sports, the Philippines can only send 15 athletes and 10 officials to Beijing .
Although most people would readily point to the fact that economics largely determine sports development, Lim said it is also worth considering that many nations smaller, younger and poorer than the Philippines have performed better in the past.
To this day, the Philippines still continues to aim for the elusive gold medal unlike some less developed nations.
"One of the reasons for this is that as a people we are happy-go-lucky and are not known for our work ethics," the mayor said.
Lim said that while other people particularly those in poorer nations work very hard at the sport which they consider as their way out of poverty, Filipinos have a tendency to relax and unwind every now and then.
"We need to have the focus, the determination and the resolve to make sacrifices if we want to improve in life," he added.
The mayor said that one of the reasons why many Filipinos remain poor is because they get contented easily and no longer aspire for a better life.
"We see wage-earners spending their hard-earned pay on alcohol and tobacco even before they can arrive home after receiving their salaries," he noted.
Although he admitted that people have the right to unwind and relax, Lim said Filipinos do it far more frequently.
"This is the reason why many of us do not make good. We are easily contended with what we do and no longer aim for excellence," he urged.
While the present crisis is not of their own making, he said this should not be a reason for people to give up their hope for a better life.
"We need to have an Olympic spirit, to go for the best in what we do," the mayor added.
Lim acknowledged that while only a few people ever make it to the Olympics, all people face the game of life everyday.
"Let us give the same commitment and resolve that we would give if we were training for the Olympics," he added.