Few motivational speakers and coaches have inspired as many people as Vince Lombardi. Perhaps it was his irate tirades and military-style discipline acquired at West Point. Maybe it was his intolerance for losers and quitters or the way he rattled off memorable quotes that would define the essence of leadership and achievement for years to come. Whatever the case may be, I love that his last dying words were “I wish I could have done more.” The man was never settled. He lived life to the fullest and was very mindful of finding new ways to win – whether it be coaching football, penning books or public speaking.
His quote mentioned above shows that winning is not an accident, but rather, a mindful blend of your thoughts, beliefs, words, actions, habits and character. I believe the converse is also true. Losing is also a habit that is perpetuated by negative thoughts, ignorant words, incompetent actions, bad habits and poor character. Many people are not even aware of how this all comes together.
Late actress Lana Turner may have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but her personal life could be considered a Hollywood Walk of Shame. With 8 marriages (to 7 husbands) and 8 divorces, her “losing at life” is pretty much undisputable. She was once famously quoted as saying, “My goal was to have one husband and seven children, but it turned out the other way around.” Notice how her quote implies that it “just sort of happened that way?” Failed marriages are like gonorrhea. You don’t “just sort of happen to get it.” You get it because you’ve made a very, very bad decision and you’ve probably been making bad decisions for years now. You act recklessly and irresponsibly, and eventually that catches up with you. On more than one occasion, Home-wrecker Lana scooped up men whose divorces had not been finalized. Several times she became involved with men who were verbally and physically abusive. Is this a coincidence or a pattern of poor judgment?
Charlie Sheen is another supreme master of failure. Professionally, his roster is inarguably impressive. Yet, his personal life is more of a disaster zone than New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He’s been married and divorced three times, but what attracts the most attention is his never-ending litany of drug offenses. He’s always in and out of the hospital, rehab clinics and jail it seems. The guy just doesn’t get it. In a nutshell, his pattern of actions and habits are evidence of poor character. As long as Charlie keeps mouthing off employers on live TV, keeping the company of coked up strippers and consuming as much drugs as humanly possible, he’s destined for failure.
Now let’s talk about you. I’m sure you’re not floundering around like a suckfish out of water like these icons, so what does this all mean to your life? Going back to Vince’s comment, you need to keep a positive mind-set, first and foremost. Your thoughts will shape the way you see the world. Make sure that your thoughts and words are positive to lead to positive actions and habits.