The Will to Win: C'est Pour Toi, Maman

What is it that you really want?  Not what you tell everyone else you want, but what do you really want?  Is it huge success, more recognition -- to just be happy.  What is it you really want?

Now here's the real question: What are you willing to do to get it?

For 24 years, Joannie had trained to be in this position.  She entered the Olympics, with 12 gold medals in the last 12 consecutive Canadian National Championships.  Along the way she had picked up international medals in China, the Grand Prix, and Russia -- competing in 39 different competitions.  She practiced until she turned her 17th place showing at the World Championships into 2nd place just five years later-- officially becoming the vice-World Champion.  And now the Olympics.

The stage was set.  Expectations ran high.  Her practices were flawless.

Two days before she was scheduled to perform, just as she was waking up to begin her final practice, she was startled by a surprise visit from her father, Norman.  Her mother, Therese, had just died from a massive heart attack.  The news was shocking and devastating.  Everything she had ever worked for -- the practice, the pain, the passion -- it all seems to leave her soul as the tears flowed from her eyes.  What deep sorrow.  How could she continue?

Fast forward to Tuesday.  As Joannie takes the ice, the crowd is quiet.  This is their home town girl.  Not sure whether to cry with her or cheer her on to victory, they wait.  And Joannie puts on the performance of a lifetime.

As the opening notes of La Cumparsita dance from the orchestra, Joannie moves to the emotion of the moment.  Every triple Lutz crisp.  Her combinations passionate -- as if she were willing herself to win.

When the music is over, Joannie bows, tears streaming uncontrollably down her face.  The crowd stands, wildly applauding.  They seem to know that they were part of a special moment -- a perfect three minutes of passion and purpose.

And Joannie, who had inspired so many, had but one thing to say: "C'est pour toi, Maman" (For you, mom...).

Such simple courage.  Such a will to win. Such a wanting for more.

It's what separates us from our wishes.

It makes me realize that "We just don't want it bad enough."

We say we do.  We talk like we have the guts to change the universe.  But we somehow lose the will to win when we need it most.

That deep wanting is the difference between winning and losing.  It's a deeply personal calling.  It's something no one can take away from you. So want more:

  1. Take time each day to think about about you want for you -- You know that "live in the moment BS" your therapist keeps telling you?  Well, he is almost right.  You need to bring your dream into the moment.  A lot of our moments really suck -- we're tired, sick, and broke.  And if you live in that moment, life can really seem pretty hopeless.  It's when you pause in a moment of fatigue and remember that your purpose in that moment is preparation for your destiny, that you awaken the passion within to overcome anything.  And that passion is what keeps you wanting more.
  2. Tell your dream to as many people as possible -- There is something about stating your dream out loud that breaks the spell of "so impossible I'll keep it to myself".  Your dream becomes a maybe.  And then that maybe becomes a possibility.  And somewhere about the 67th time you've told someone how you are going to change the world, you start to believe that you might just do it.  And once you believe you can do it, no one can stop you.  You want it enough to really have it!

Whether you're negotiating the biggest sale of your life, trying to land that illusive promotion, or just struggling to find happiness, invest in your ability to want more.  You might find yourself in a position like Joannie where the bottom falls out and all that you have left is your will to win.

Last week, Joannie Rochette won the Bronze medal for figure skating for Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, adding Olympic champion to a long list of awards.

More importantly, she won the Terry Fox Award as the athlete who most inspired courage and determination at the Olympics.  Terry Fox was a marathon runner who ran more than 3,312 miles across Canada after he lost a leg to cancer to raise money for medical research.  He had to stop running when he weakened as cancer spread to his lungs.

You may not want more to give back to a great mom who was there for the last 24 years of skating practices.  You may want more for different reasons.

Why ever you want more -- whatever you dream about -- never lose that passion for a bigger you.  It's what keeps your dream alive.  And that makes you unstoppable.