Nothing worth possessing has ever been given.
My Mom, back in the day, reminded me of this thought on a regular basis. She told me not to expect people, God, or the universe to give me my hearts desire. She told me to earn it. She told me to work hard for what I wanted and her stories of the Dust Bowl, Great Depression, and how her Mom and Brother made it on their own, seared me for life. I am lucky to have had a Mom and mentor who made me do what I can at an early age. I was small and scrawny and she made me believe it didn’t matter.
She taught me how to compete. She engraved her mantra of “keep working” onto my heart. For the longest time I thought it was my idea too. Mom didn’t seem to care that I took way too much credit for myself, she wanted me to believe and put up with the immaturity, ego, and lack of acknowledgement for her effort. She knew life was hard from firsthand experience and wanted her son to have a hardened mind. She knew competitors had to have belief in order to compete. So, she kept giving the belief alongside tough truth. Mom epitomized tough and tender. She babied me like crazy too. I mean come on man, I didn’t know how to work a washing machine until college, but I knew how to compete. I can now see clearly that it was my mom who taught me this life giving skill. I’m amazed how many talented teammates seem to be missing this critical ingredient. They have not built a competitive character. They have not been built at home, only coddled or left alone. Not good.
You, friend, are being built to lead now. Do not run from this building or just go through the motions. Engage your heart and mind. Get after it. Actually, get after becoming who you already are, you’ve just been too afraid to be. You must compete everyday, every possession, every play, every match, every game, every opportunity, against every opponent, but mostly against yourself. You cannot switch it off and on. Your competitive character is engraved by your habits. There are no guaranteed wins regardless how many times you’ve taken ‘em down. It might help to remember a little Lao Tzu – “If you wish to be out front, act as if you were behind.” Compete. Everyday. Keep working. Keep progressing. Believe. Remember, nothing worth possessing has ever been given. And, give more than you take. Reproduce in another what has been produced in you. The best competitors embrace the competition too. What about you?
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…