Last year was not a good one for me. By a country mile.
Which is why the simple sentence, “I believe that we will win” got my attention. Its philosophy is one I have worked to consciously emulate after the Year From Hell and Back Again.
Now what began as a random cheerleader chant at an Army-Navy football game two decades ago has spread to become the mantra, the top-decibel declaration of faith by and for the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team.
I can’t think of anything more American than to win during this most patriotic of weeks. But I hope the lesson that we all take from this motto is that it isn’t the winning that comes first—it’s the BELIEVING. That is the important part of the equation. Because without it, winning is not possible. You have to believe.
Listen to me. You. Have. To. Believe.
Yes we are AMURRICANS and we love winners. (And man, do we hate soccer ties.) But what makes a real winner?
Preachers and presidents, psychics and psychiatrists–believe who you want, but in the end they really all are saying the same thing: Pray, State, Declare, Claim what you want, what you deserve, and it will come. BELIEVE.
No it’s not a sports car, or a boyfriend, or even necessarily that job we are sure is perfect for us. It’s showing the Universe that You Are In Charge Of Your Life and demanding to be recognized! The important part is that you try, that you shove—or at least poke—the negative thoughts that storm your mind, and tell them NO. This is my destiny, and I will do everything I can to make it happen.
I have become a begrudging fan of positive affirmations and have them taped around my house like Stuart Smalley. Only mine are Jim Valvano and Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky—so it’s more like Stuart Smalley with muscles. And MVP trophies.
I’ve never understood or enjoyed people who say, halfway through a game, “It’s over, we lose.”
Anything can happen. The sun can get in a player’s eyes. She can slip on muddy turf. Or maybe like Rudy, you aren’t the underdog you think.
Gretzky was right: 100% of shots not taken don’t score. In other words, whether it’s a game, a work presentation, or just dealing with your goofed-out kids at the supermarket, give it all you have and you will at least respect yourself, and have it from others, for leaving it all on the field.
Or Aisle 6–sometimes, just getting past the Super Sweeties Cereal is your personal Super Bowl. You still did better than Denver last year.
If you buy into the bad stuff, you become it. It’s not hocus-pocus, it’s scientific fact. Studies have shown your brain develops deep neural grooves when the same sad thoughts and behaviors are repeated, kind of like pacing on a worn carpet.
But you can do the same with positive thoughts. Faith. Prayer. Affirmations. BELIEF in whatever form works for you.
You don’t even have to believe 100%; but mathematically, you stand no chance of winning, succeeding, surviving, without at least showing up. If you sit it out, you’ve already lost. It’s like the Monty Hall Problem, but it’s your life.
So don’t ever, ever give up. Believe that you will win. You are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.
Unless you are beating them. Like Belgium today. Because I believe–it can only hurt if you don’t. USA USA USA!!!!