Wednesday, 8 May 2013
BOOK LAUNCH Eldon Taylor: I Believe 'Trying, Losing and Persisting'
You never lose unless you quit. Vince Lombardi is often quoted as saying, “The difference between winning and losing is quitting.” There are thousands of stories about people who failed miserably time after time before finally achieving their goals. They succeeded because they never quit.
Knowing your own limitations is different from quitting, which is a mental state. You may see a ballplayer walking off the field, but long before taking this action, his mind set sail through all the possibilities, reasons, and rationalizations for giving up. He may have even rehearsed the event—to try it on, so to speak—before the actual action. So as I said, it’s first a mental action, like my son’s strikeout.
There are people I’ve worked with in the past who persist at quitting. They’re not aware that they’re giving up, per se, any more than my son was aware that he’d surrendered to striking out before the first pitch was thrown.
Becoming aware of this tendency in ourselves is the only way we can end these self-destructive, self-sabotaging patterns. Persisting should be all about allowing our efforts to become better and better. We persevere at practice—reinforcing our improvement instead of mentally rehearsing our failure expectation. As Marilyn vos Savant is credited with saying, “Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.”
I believe that inside every human being is a winner. Each and every one of us possesses a unique ability—a talent, if you will—and chief among all of our abilities is the one called “Doing our very best.” I believe that this ability is what makes us champions.
I remember being confused as a young man about such statements as “All men are created equal.” It doesn’t take an Einstein to see how untrue this statement is—or is it? I tell a story on myself in my book Choices and Illusions, in which I made just this inquiry. It seems appropriate here to share what I learned.
Imagine a rocket scientist who, after much work, launches an interstellar voyager. Imagine the pride he feels in the accomplishment. Now imagine a so-called menial laborer. On his hands and knees for endless hours, he scrubs and polishes a floor. He has worked so hard and with so much pride that he has scrubbed his knuckles raw. Now he stands back and beholds his labors. The floor absolutely glistens—every square inch of it. It never looked that good even when it was new. Now . . . which man senses the most pride, the rocket scientist or the floor scrubber?
Even at a young age, I understood that feeling. The fact is that when you do your utmost, you enjoy the same state of specialness, the same ecstatic feeling, the same sense of purpose and pleasure as anyone else, regardless of the act (launching rockets or scrubbing floors).
I believe there are no real losers because in the end, you cannot escape yourself. You—both here and in the hereafter—will learn to persevere, and in time you’ll turn the act of trying or the pattern of losing into winning because that’s who you ultimately are! You’ll acquire the habit of applying your best to all that you do, and as the rocket scientist–floor scrubber story illustrates, that means you’ll always come out ahead. You were created a winner, and a winner you were meant to be. Believing in yourself makes winning happen, so the only question is what you’re going to do to reinforce a strong, vital faith in yourself—for what you believe always matters!
Always remember the following analogy from Alfred Adler. It’s one of my favorites, and it will help you remember to believe in yourself along the way, even when you feel you’re drowning.
What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning—and some of them many times over—what do you find? That you can swim? Well—life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!
The only way you lose is by quitting. Failure becomes permanent only when you give up. When you visualize quitting, you’re rehearsing the event. Can you think of examples from your own life when you were so convinced you’d be unsuccessful that you never even tried? Isn’t this often the most basic frustration that people have during a midlife crisis? Do you dare to look again at those dreams you once had and discarded—and to try again, this time with persistence, determination, and tenacity?
Eldon Taylor has spent over 25 years researching the power of the mind and developing scientifically proven methods to use this power to enhance the quality of your life. I Believe is a book that will not only inspire you, but will highlight the kinds of beliefs you hold that may be causing you to fail. In the process, it will provide you with the opportunity to choose, once again, the beliefs that drive your life.