We are all role models, whether we like it or not. We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to win every time. But we should always make an effort to win. We should always give our best.
Boxer Buster Douglas had his “15 minutes of fame” when he defeated Mike Tyson to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He lost the title in his first defense. But winning that title saved a young woman’s life.
Radio news commentator Paul Harvey told a story on the air about a young woman who was so depressed that she was ready to commit suicide.
Then she happened to see a television report about how Buster Douglas, against overwhelming odds, had knocked out Mike Tyson.
She was so inspired that this underdog – who was still grieving the recent death of his mother -could actually win a great victory, she decided to make another effort in her own life.
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She overcame her problems and got on with her life.
Vince Lombardi’s creed
People quote football coach Vince Lombardi as having said, “Winning isn’t the most important thing; it is the only thing.” Those who played for him have said that his actual statement was more like: “Making the effort to win is the only thing that counts.”
Lombardi did not advocate winning at all costs. He emphasized character. Read Jerry Kramer’s blogs about Lombardi, and you learn how he valued honesty, fair play and the willingness to give 100 percent to a job you committed yourself to doing.
Lombardi, a religious man who went to mass every morning, said that striving to win “fairly, squarely, decently, by the rules but to win” was all that really counted.
You should win because you are good and because you are willing to pay the price for victory.
You are willing to give 100 percent effort. You do everything you can to win. Nothing should distract you from that. Winning “fairly, squarely, decently, by the rules” should be your only concern.
That was Vince Lombardi’s message.
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