March 23, 2011

The Power of Your Will

Day 82: 22.0 miles/1:20

Champions aren’t made in gyms. They are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” ~ Muhammad Ali

When it comes to realizing our goals for our lives, success has so very little to do with our skills or abilities as much as it has to do with our desire.  Wherever we look, there will always be faster, smarter, better looking, more talented people than us.  Potential is not where the battle is fought or won.  Desire, drive, and will is where the battle is fought.  There are hundreds of inspirational stories told every day where some unknown, undermanned, underfunded person willed their way to their desired outcome.  In an earlier post I shared the quote, “the depth of your success is directly related to intensity of your commitment.”  You can achieve just about anything you desire provided you have the skill and the will to go for it.

One of my favorite all-time athletes is Joe Montana.  I can’t say I think he is one of history’s greatest quarterbacks; but, I will argue that he is one of football’s best winners.  Joe Montana never accepted defeat.  There are stories about his coolness under pressure, about his calm demeanor when the game looked lost, and his ability to will the team to victory in the unlikeliest of scenarios.  Joe Montana didn’t have the best arm or the prototypical quarterback build – he didn’t need to.  All he needed to do was possess enough skill to be the quarterback and then use his heart to will the team to victory.  History will always look upon Joe Montana as a winner and a champion, but you will never find his name on a record book for his passing statistics.  He wasn’t a quarterback; he was a leader and a champion.

Success is based on having a vision for who we are and where we are going and leveraging that vision into a course of action for our lives.  Accomplishment of that vision is not dependent upon our unique skills and abilities – though it does help to focus on leveraging our talents.  Accomplishing our vision is the result of a blend of skill and heart.  Heart takes over and becomes passionate drive when obstacles and failures are thrown in our way.  Skill can and will help you navigate these obstacles; however it is your will that pushes through the toughest of challenges.

What I have focused on doing everyday is reminding myself what I am building (objective), why I am building it (purpose), and what I envision the end result looking like (my vision).  I make certain that I am taking action on this every single day.  And, I treat any challenge, interruption, or obstacle to my progress as a test of my will.  I do not let it stop me or distract me or upset me – I focus on my mission and use my commitment to that vision to solve the problem and keep moving.  Your will is the foundation of your success, especially in tough times.  Make it strong and let it drive you.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.