How to Win With Yourself

There’s a speech from the movie, “Any Given Sunday.” I wrote about it many years ago in “Life Is a Game of Inches.” I just went back and reread that article. It was really long! But beyond that, I felt really inspired when I wrote that. The key thought from the speech, which I will paraphrase, is this.

In any struggle, it’s the person who is willing to die that is going to win the inch.

There’s a power in this statement. And it isn’t that we should just go balls out until we keel over and die. I don’t think that’s the lesson here. I do think that within each of us there are things we feel and know intuitively about ourselves and about life. We can shrink from these internal truths or we can stand up and realize them and go for it.

When I saw Heidi’s step mom on her death bed many years ago, I was jolted. In some strange way, I saw myself lying on that same bed getting fed life support and at the end of my life. It scared the hell out of me. It’s one of the reasons I am willing to take some bold risks in my life. I’ve taken some risks this year… I’m not sure what the end result will be of those risks. But I do know this. I’m not going to be laying on my death bed wondering, “What If?”

I think winning with ourselves means we recognize our authentic self. It means not living in fear each day. It means not just going through the motions. It means expressing yourself. It means having an opinion about your own life. It means taking some risks, even if they don’t pan out how you might have imagined. Winning with yourself means trying, whether you succeed or not.

When I come to the end of a day, like today, I think about what has happened during the day. Right now, it’s 10:02 PM. It’s getting close to bed time. I think back to the day and replay what I did at work, and how I’ve treated the people close to me. I think about myself and have I moved toward what I know deep down I am meant to do. I think I made progress in that area today.

To win with yourself, decide what it is you want in your life. You probably already know what that is – it’s just a matter of building up a habit to work on it continually. What you want might be something so scary that you wonder if you’ll even SURVIVE after you go through it. For me, the choice always brings me back to the death bed. If death does decide to take me and I don’t live to 200, I won’t be laying down wishing I would have done what in my heart I know I should go for.

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