Saturday, June 12, 2010

You have not lost until you have given up!

It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it.

-John Wooden

Great college basketball coach, John Wooden passed away recently after almost a century of life. His legacy is a world of success and a plethora of incredibly intelligent and well- considered quotations about the human condition. The quote above speaks to me of the perseverance, tenacity and courage of every average man or woman.

Anyone involved in team sports will tell you that virtually every team of every kind is made up of stars and everyone else. You remember the stars...you remember their names and you even remember their faces. You remember Bobby Orr, Joe Montana, A-Rod, and Magic Johnson...but what of the other players on the teams? What are their names; who are they; what do they look like; where did they come from; what position do they play; have they ever scored; have they added anything to the success of the team??? Who cares???

The fact of the matter is that a star is just a highly skilled player with a great support staff. Without support, there can be no stars. Without an entire line up of players, there is no team and there is no possibility of winning. Human beings tend to want stars in their lives to inspire them to do greater things...to have more success. Children and adults alike are thrilled to the core at just the thought of shaking hands with a sports star. An entire team of hockey players could walk down the streets of New York City unnoticed, but if Wayne Gretzky was one of them, he could not get ten feet without being hounded by autograph seekers and paparazzi! However, the “Great One” would be the first to tell you that his skill on the ice was only as good as the team he played for; he would admit that he only helped his team to succeed...he could not have done it alone.

If you are not a “Great One,” in any area of your life; if you are not famous and no one thinks of you as a star, take heart! You are a support player and you will finish the game. Long after the stars have faded because their skill has failed them or they have lost their edge, you will still be supporting the next star or stars just as you did the last ones. Your greatness is evidenced by the fact the stars cannot live without you. You are special and you matter! Being a star is a tough business. It is fraught with the fear of failure and an absolute unrelenting requirement to succeed every day in every way. Being a support player is not easy, but it is less hazardous, and with a positive mindset, it can be just as rewarding as stardom.

Know yourself, pick your path, and stay your course. If you are not a star, be the best support player you can be and remember that your stardom rests in the fact that you never give up and you are always there to make sure that your team finishes the game. Be comfortable in the knowledge that you did everything you could to win. You have not lost until you have given up, so never give up!

Everyone who finishes the game is a winner. Everyone on a winning team is a star. You know who you are and that is all that matters!

All the Best

Wayne Kehl

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