Friday, August 20, 2010

The Will

I'm cribbing from an unknown author today. Somebody wrote something and I penciled it on a post-it note and it now hangs on the bathroom mirror. I didn't write down who said it, and it deserves a lot of credit.

Everyone has the will to win. When two people show up at a contest, both want to win. Both have their spirits set on prevailing. In the nasty world of predators and victims, the will to win is even more pronounced. The coyote is hungry. The rabbit wants to live.

Everyone has the will to win. When everyone has something, it is meaningless.

What many lack is the will to prepare to win.

It is a disservice to say that the one who wants the win most, the one who is hungriest, has the edge. Wanting isn't enough. When we say that it matters, we say that desire itself has a magical power to shift the world in our favor.

What does shift the world into our favor is preparation, and preparation is an act of will. You train when there is no immediate goal. You study the problem. You learn the factors and the nuances. For the deep and dangerous stuff, you have to know your own heart. Not what you think you can do if and when-- those are fantasies. You need to know your core and where you core starts to shift...and which direction it shifts to... under fear and pain and hunger and ego threat and all of the other different ways that identity shifts.

As broad and deep as you can go, you can increase your chances through preparation.

It's amazing how lucky someone who trains four hours a day can get.

The stick-it on the mirror? It says, "The will to PREPARE to win."


Wayne said...

Good post-it note, came from Coach Bear Bryant originally I believe.

Jake said...

Yeah, Bear Bryant. "The Will to Win Compares Little With The Will to Prepare to Win."

One of Coach Blauer's favorites, not surprisingly.

ZenHG said...

Great post on so many levels!

Lise Steenerson said...

Still have the question.... why do some people have that will to prepare and others do not...

Kai Jones said...

Lise - some people judge things differently, that's all. Some people think the effort won't be worth the return if nothing ever happens to them. How accurately they're judging the likelihood of something happening is a different question.

Anonymous said...

Denise here, I just realized I've sent this link to four people :P


Branden Wyke said...

Great post! That battle of wills that two people experience when the fight is so true. You even see people let go of that will/or not really have it when they get there. It really is the will to prepare that helps strengthen their side of that battle of wills. It's probably the best way to make sure that they dont let go or not have it when they get there.