Sunday, September 26, 2010


Let's face it. In America, we love an underdog who gets their day. Hoosiers, Seabiscuit, Rudy, Rocky...the list goes on and on. These are movies that cause otherwise rational and reserved people to cry, applaud and cheer in public. I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of these people.  And so it was, as I was watching the Disney movie, Dreamer, that I had an epiphany. Every amazing "longshot" tale begins with a situation that looks utterly hopeless. 

Think about it. Before there can be the cheers of victory there has to be a very real threat of defeat. After all, if there were nothing to overcome in the first place, the experience would have no element of struggle. And it's in the struggle, uncomfortable though it be, that the victory is being shaped. Indeed, the struggle is directly proportionate to the potential outcome. Simply stated, small obstacles lead to small victories, but giant obstacles can precede tales of glory.

Every great thing that has been done had the potential to end very badly. And the trick of it is that people who do great things seldom know they are doing great things. They are simply going through it. 

We all want that amazing moment of victory, but every such moment begins with a decision to look seemingly insurmountable odds in the face and continue to move forward. The journey from a time of difficulty to that triumphant moment when everyone cheers begins with a decision to risk catastrophic failure. When we are willing to risk it all we stand to gain more than we have imagined.