It behooves me to start what I have got to pass on to you this week by saying that athletic performance, like scholastic and academic ability, is also assumed and implied to be a “numbers” game. Conventional and unadventurous wisdom says that those individuals with God-given ability to run faster, jump higher, or throw farther will be the champions. On the condition that this is so, how do we account for the myriad and heap of successful underdogs, such as the U.S. Olympic hockey team that defeated the Russians in the 1980 Winter Olympics? The Russians had all the numbers going for them—they were vastly more talented, more experienced, more skilled, as well as being stronger and faster skaters. On every empirical criterion, the U.S. players were out of their league, but they won anyway. What gave the U.S. Olympic team an edge over the Russians? This is what today’s piece of writing is all about.
It shall interest you to know that many athletes whose “numbers” would place them in the lower-Half Club have been incredibly successful in sports. Check these out:
- Baseball’s Larry Bird cannot run as fast or jump as high as most NBA players
- Football’s Joe Montana cannot throw as hard or as far as most NFL quarter-backs.
Bird and Montana are in the tradition of Ty Cobb, Bille Jean King, Jonny Unitas, and Chris Evert, none of whom was an exceptional natural talent. Yet, all were legendary champions. Obviously, raw natural ability alone is not the breakfast of leaders and champions. You shall need to have an unquenchable fire of desire to win in life. And you shall always need to be on fire to lead the pack in your chosen field of business and purpose. Remember, a man of passion is superior to a man—who has skills, information and experience but lacks passion.
Please, understand that I am not trying to downplay the importance of information, skills, and experience. Infact, everyone needs to be competent at work, at school, and at home. We all need to know the nuts and bolts. On the condition that you do not know the material, have not practised and done your homework very well, you do not belong in today’s game, you certainly will not last long anyway. That is a given. And this is not debatable.
But information, skills, and competence only take you to “good.” And everyone playing the game is at least good. The bottom-line is that “good” is not good enough these days. Passion, fire, burning commitment, and desire—these are the qualities that will take you from “good” to “outstanding.” Buddy, do you dream to become an outstanding leader on earth today? You shall need to have passion, fire, desire and burning commitment to what you love doing. It takes more than knowledge alone to become outstanding in this century.
Passion sets knowledge on fire. Knowledge without passion is nothing. Ignorance is not the problem of many people in this century, the problem of many people in this century is knowledge without passion. What you know will not change your life, leadership and business until you become passionate about it. Over the years, I have met with a lot of people who know so much, but are not doing anything with what they know. As an effect of this error, their lives have remained unchanged. Additionally, I have also met with a lot of people who do not know so much, but they are so passionate about the little they know. Over the years, this has increased the quality of their lives. I have come to ask you this profound question today: over the years, what have you been doing with what you know? Without passion, you cannot become outstanding on earth.
Fire in your heart will give you that extra boost, making you more curious, more persistent, and more resourceful in your quest for information. Having passion for what you are doing will prevent you from being stopped by failure and the unexpected roadblocks that are the present-day norm. Passion will make you more motivated to take risks and give you the extra “juice” to keep growing, learning, innovating, and confronting challenges. Do not forget this: passionate people are not afraid of taking risks. And because they do take risks, this is why they are outstanding in their varied fields of life.
A few days ago, in the course of the ongoing European cup competition, the lowly rated Italian national football team did beat the highly rated Belgium national football team by two goals to nothing. According to the FIFA ranking, Belgium is occupying the 2nd in the whole world while the Italian Football team was called an underdog team, but at the end of the keenly contested match, Italy did beat Belgium convincingly.
The Italian national football team played with a burning passion to win and that gave them an edge over the Belgians. The Belgium national team was star-studded and they were highly rated by every football analyst to win the match, but they ended up losing it. Remember, passion will always give you an edge in whatever field of life you do find yourself.
What is becoming apparent is that being “good” is not “good enough.” Simply doing a “good” job will not give you the edge you need in today’s incredibly pressure-packed marketplace. “Good enough” only puts you in with the rest of the pack. You want to lead the pack in life, leadership and business? You shall need to develop into passion-driven, so you can turn out to be exceptional in life, leadership and business. If you can put into practice and carry out what is contained in today’s piece of writing, you are undoubtedly going to move from being “good” to being outstanding.
See you where great people are found!