Then I thought of Steve Prefontaine. Does that name ring a bell? Steve was the record holder of every American distance-running record (click the link for a short clip of one of his runs) from 2,000 to 10,000 meters. He died a tragic death in 1975 but here are some things Steve Prefontaine said:
“Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”
“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more. Nobody is going to win a 5,000 meter race after running an easy 2 miles. Not with me. If I lose forcing the pace all the way, well, at least I can live with myself.”
“To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift.”
“What I want is to be number one.”
“Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it.”
“I’m going to work so that it’s a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it.”
“How does a kid from Coos Bay, with one leg longer than the other win races? All my life people have been telling me, ‘You’re too small Pre’, ‘You’re not fast enough Pre’, ‘Give up your foolish dream Steve’. But they forgot something, I HAVE TO WIN.”
So you really want success? Then don’t let anyone stop you. Don’t make any excuses. There is a price to pay for success. It will involve pain and guts. Do you really have it in you? Are you fooling yourself? Are you really paying a price? I have to win! Therefore, for me I must work harder than my competitor, I must think about it day and night, I must give my all, I must study and study some more, I must change — not for change sake but because I am growing and it requires it.
What about you? Are you waiting for that special system that poof makes you a success? Or are you saying that no matter what it takes I HAVE TO WIN? Many people give lip service to the idea of attaining higher levels of success but you see it in their actions that they are not serious.
(Note: There is a good movie about the life of Steve Prefontaine called, Without Limits.)