May 30, 2003.
Every great achievement is the victory of a flaming heart.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the most spectacular sporting events on the planet is the Summer Olympic Games. The summer games, which are held in various venues around the world once every four years, bring together only the very best athletes from countries spanning the globe.
One of the games higher profile competitions is always the track events. Throughout the track portion of the competition, world class athletes put years of training and dedication on the line, knowing that all of the hard work, commitment and preparation will come down to precious few seconds of errorless execution.
With only hundredths of a second separating the gold medal winner from the rest of the pack, the winner will have to run the race of his or her life. To compete at this level, upon the grandest of stages, requires a lot of talent. But talent alone isnt enough, since each and every participant has plenty of talent. The difference is often a flaming heart filled with a burning desire to win.
"Private victories precede public victories. You can't invert that process any more than you can harvest a crop before you plant it."
Stephen R. Covey
Well before the winner ever toes the line at the start of the race, he or she must first conquer those feelings of self doubt we all experience on occasion. After all, any second thoughts during the make or break moments of high caliber competition can spell disaster. World record performances require world record preparation. Ask the champions about the most important factor in winning the race and theyll repeatedly tell you that they had to win the race in their minds FIRST in order to stand a chance on the track.
Before they can ever savor the exhilaration and elation that accompanies winning, they must first win an even tougher battle the battle within. Aristotle once said, I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. Without a doubt, the victory over self can be prove to be quite a tussle. But it's battle you can win when your heart is ablaze with passion and desire.
It is impossible to win the race unless you venture to run, impossible to win the victory unless you dare to battle.
Richard M. DeVos
Just like the Olympic athlete, you too must defeat those nagging feelings of self doubt and uncertainty if youre going to bring home the gold. You must resolutely refuse to give in or give up, especially at those times when the race appears hopelessly lost and your chances to win appear bleak. Remember this: as long as you refuse to lose and keep giving your very best effort, youre never out of the race. NEVER!
Ninety percent of winning any race, be it on the track or in your every day activities, is winning the battle inside yourself. And that battle can be won when you keep moving relentlessly in the direction of your goals. As Napoleon Hill reminded us, Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting. I never expect to lose. Even when I'm the underdog, I still prepare a victory speech.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Second place finishes and second rate performances are not what youre all about. You were born to win, to achieve and to fulfull your destiny on earth. We encourage you to set your standards high; not so high that they appear out of reach but high enough that you must really stretch to reach them. By continually pushing yourself to improve and get better, youll develop a mental toughness thats simply unbeatable. And then expect to win.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery said, It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys. High adventure we could all use some of that in our lives, couldn't we? And as far as creative action is concerned that sure sounds a lot better than just going through the motions, wouldnt you agree?
Its high time that you got in the race and played the game of your life. Prepare that victory speech, start playing at full throttle and approach each task with the expectation of bringing home the gold. I believe that General George S. Patton said it best when he said, Accept the challenges, so you may feel the exhilaration of victory. When you do, you'll discover that theres no better feeling on earth.
The Bottom Line: When you enthusiastically and energetically accept the challenges life tosses your way, youll soon be taking one victory lap after another.
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