The Power of Persistence – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday March 17, 2010

Today’s Thought:
Success is not just about winning. Wins come and go. Success is about persistence all the way to your dream.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Today is a day when people think about being lucky. Luck certainly plays a role in life’s success, but your odds of success go way up when we work single-mindedly toward our goals.

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote: “Some give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.”

He was speaking of the quality of persistence. You know stick-toitiveness, an unwillingness to give up. It is the first and mandatory prerequisite for all success in life.

Think about it. Have you ever seen anyone win a 100 meter dash by stopping at the 50 meter mark? Have you ever seen a football team leave the field in the third quarter and win? Have you ever seen a best-selling author who stopped after a few rejection letters? The first two instances would result in disqualification and the latter instance – well, that person would never be known as a best-selling author.

Life always disqualifies us when we give up. No dream ever came true by quitting half way to it. We need persistence. We need an attitude that reminds us, in the face of setback, that we are on a mission to accomplish something big.

History has few tales of those who almost did something. We remember those who actually accomplished. There is no record of those who stopped when one more try would have made all the difference. Who almost invented the light bulb, the automobile, the computer? There might have been thousands of people who almost did, who had the potential, who woulda, coulda, shoulda. We only remember who actually did.

Give today your all! Give your dreams your best! Leave nothing on the field in their pursuit.

The question you have to ask yourself today is, “Am I the next J.K. Rowling?” or “Am I the next Michael Jordan?” or “Am I the next person who was almost one of them, but remains forever anonymous because I gave up just short of the goal?”

A greatness lives within each of us and it is there for us to discover when we stay persistent.

The choice every single day is ours!

Stay inspired!

Ray

The Kansas Jayhawks Wouldn’t Give Up – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday April 9, 2008

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Mario Chalmers Rains a DreamWhat makes sports so compelling for so many people is that it mirrors the drama of life. Last night’s Mens’ NCAA National Baskeball Championship Game was just such a drama. With all the symmetry and irony of a greek tragedy, the Kansas Jayhawks captured their third national title.

The game – 20 years to the day of Kansas’ last national championship – featured two  well-respected coaches vying for their first national championship. Two men whose coaching careers started as assistants at Kansas under Larry Brown – the last coach to lead Kansas to the promise land.

The game featured an array of future NBA stars who no doubt will battle many more times over the coming years at the pro level. In the end, it would be decided by the team willing and able to face its own worst demons. For KU, who would take the big shot when it counted? For Memphis, would free throws finally be their undoing?

The game featured two teams trying to prove they belonged among the elite. The Jayhawks trying exorcise the ghosts of tournaments past and Memphis trying to earn the respect granted to BCS conference winners.

The game went back and forth for most of the evening. Memphis took an early 9-3 lead, but Kansas stormed back and held a five point lead at halftime 33-28.

The first 10 minutes of the second half see-sawed back and forth, but then Memphis freshman phenom Derek Rose took over. Rose poured in 11 points over a 2 minute span to help Memphis extend its lead to nine points.

The clock read 2:12 to play and the score read Memphis 61 Kansas 52. A lifetime memory was about to be created for one team and for all the world it looked like it would be Memphis. History was preparing to crown the Tigers national champions.

But over in the KU huddle, 15 people dressed in the road blue uniforms had not given up. Great moments are only possible when people refuse to give up. The Jayhawks were not giving up. They were not planning concession speeches. They were plotting a comeback.

Over the next 2:02 Kansas whittled away making several key shots and forcing Memphis to face its arch nemisis – the free throw line. Despite all its success this year, Memphis entered the NCAA tournament third to last in the country in free throw shooting. It had been talked about throughout the tournament as a possible Achilles heel, but the Tigers had overcome their weakness and made it a strength.

However, with the eyes of the nation now watching, the Tigers missed four of five free throws down the stretch and that opened the door for Jayhawk history.

Meanwhile, Kansas had an answer for its demon -who would take the big shot – and his name was Mario Chalmers. 

KU inbounded the ball with 10.8 seconds remaining and trailing 63-60. Guard Sherron Collins worked up the right side of the court and found teammate Mario Chalmers. Moving to his left beyond the three-point line, Chalmers turned, planted, and launched a 20-foot jump shot for the ages. The shot sailed through the basket with a sweet swish.

The game was tied and headed to overtime, but the game was over. The momentum of destiny was now comfortably perched on the Jayhawks’ shoulders as they completed the 75-68 victory with a dominating overtime period.

All very nice, you say, but it’s just a game. It’s a game, but it’s life too. We often find ourselves down nine with time running out. When we do we are faced with a choice. A choice to put ourselves on the line and try or simply concede that circumstances have beaten us.

Not every effort is rewarded with victory. Not every comeback is glorious or successful. Yet this is sure. Every great moment is created by someone’s refusal to give up.

 
Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

You never know which failure to give up contains the nugget of gold. You just have to keep trying to find out. For Mario Chalmers and the Kansas Jayhawks, the nugget of gold was a national championship.

 

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray  

 

 

Quitting is the Answer – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday December 13, 2007



Today’s affirmation:

“Today I am ready to convert my perseverance into success.”

Quitting is the answer to your dilemma. You know you want to give up. So, do it. You have a dream, but it is just pie-in-the-sky nonsense. What are you thinking? Are you crazy?

Do you really believe you could be the next great childrens author. Are you really visualizing yourself sitting on Oprah’s couch discussing your latest best seller? YOU??? Come on! Get real. You’ve sent 20 manuscripts out and how many rejection letters? That’s right. 20.

And you, thinking you are the next great country music star. You’ve made five demo records and not one call back. You’ve been at this for three years now. When are you going to face reality?

Oh, and Mr. basketball, you have dreams of a major college scholarship and then the NBA? Yeah right! You play three minutes a game on your high school team. The coach barely knows your name. And you think you’re the next Michael Jordan? Face it, my friend, basketball is a dead end for you.

Do you ever have thoughts like these? Do you ever hear those around you say things like this because they “care about you”? There’s always someone around to shoot down your dreams, if you are not already doing it. In some cases, it’s even an expert – an editor, a coach, or record producer. I mean they know what they are talking about, right?

The next time you have these kinds of thoughts I want you remember the following.

His sophomore year in high school, Michael Jordan didn’t even know he was the next Michael Jordan.

Michael JordanHe was cut from his high school basketball team. I don’t know if that high school basketball team was unbelievably talented or the coach just wasn’t a very good judge of ability. Can you imagine arguably the greatest basketball player ever cut from his basketball team? The coach was presumedly an expert.

Michael could have taken the expert’s word and given up. He could have taken up the vilolin or given up on school activities all together. Instead, he worked harder; became more determined. Three years later he was starting for one of the top college programs in the country and on his way to a Hall of Fame NBA career and six NBA championships.

What if Michael Jordan had accepted the judgment of an expert and quit? The man revitalized a sport, gave a city with a reputation for losing the opportunity to be champions, inspired millions of young athletes, and gave every fan a highlight film that will run in their minds forever.

Back in the 1920s there was an unknown cartoonist from the midwest shopping his idea for an animated cartoon featuring a mouse. Walt Disney made two cartoons featuring Mickey Mouse that were rejected by distributors. Then timing and adaptability intervened.

disney.jpgDisney latched on to the new sound technology in Hollywood and created a third Mickey Mouse film with sound called Steamboat Willie which debuted in New York on November 18, 1928.

The mouse and Walt went on to do quite well for themselves. A major media empire and the world’s number one tourist destination bear the name Disney because he believed in his idea and he did not stop at “no”.

Had Disney quit generations would have been deprived of the eternal childhood represented by Disney message.

A retired motel and restaurant owner in his 70s spent two years driving the country pitching his secret recipe for fried chicken to restaurant owners. The story goes that Harland Sanders heard no over 1000 times before someone finally said, “yes”.

Today Kentucky Fried Chicken is served in more than 80 countries around the world. Everyone knows about “The Colonel’s secret recipe.”

What is the common element here? Belief? Yes. Commitment. Sure. The real common element here is perserverence converted into success. These people pushed through their own doubts and the opinions of others to achieve their goals.

They also didn’t listen to the experts who said it couldn’t be done. The experts thought the train, the automobile, the airplane, radio, television, and the Internet would never succeed. Experts are always learned people about “what is”. They are entrenched in “what is”. Experts are weak at seeing what “can be.”

That takes a visionary. Find a visionary who believes in you and what you are trying to accomplish. That restaurant owner who finally said yes to Colonel Sanders was a visionary.

The world would have been worse off if any of these men had given up. What will the world be missing out on if you quit on your dream?

So how about it? Are you up for that 21st manuscript submission? Are you ready to make another demo and make this cut the one that gets noticed? Are you ready to give a little extra at practice today and let the coach really see what you can do?

If you are inspired to keep going, continue visualizing Oprah. If you are motivated to take Nashville by storm, keep seeing yourself accepting your award as newcomer of the year in country music. If you are ready to take the court with a new purpose and determination, then keep dreaming of the NBA.

Others are going to call you crazy. “They” called Jordan, Disney, and Sanders crazy too. “They” called the Wright Brothers and Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci crazy.

You might have another bout of you calling yourself crazy. That’s normal. Just don’t give up on your talent, don’t give up on your passion, don’t give up on the promise of your dreams.

Start right now by restating your dream to the universe and your commitment to achieving it. I’d be honored if you began by leaving a comment on this blog.

Quitting is an answer. It is just not the right answer when it comes to your dreams.

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

The Affirmation Spot

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