Can't or Won't
Nick Saban, head football coach at Alabama, made the comment “it takes what it takes” in a press conference in reference to the illusion of choice. His point was that too many people think they have a lot of options when, in reality, there are very few choices on the path to excellence. As Saban said, “it takes what it takes.”
So, the only real choice is will you do what it takes or not?
Is it really a question of can or can’t rather than will or won’t?
That’s not how we like to think about it. We like to look at it as being a talent or skill we were blessed with or have acquired through our commitment and hard work. We have something that someone else doesn’t have.
The opposite is also a reality.
When we don’t achieve something or perform at the level we want, we like to attribute it to our lack of talent that we didn’t receive. We just weren’t given the same gifts that others were.
Why Should We Care?
Well, good news … or bad news.
Will or won’t is the question, not can or can’t.
That’s good news because it relieves us of the need to be endowed with every necessary talent to accomplish our goals. We aren’t all beginning at the same starting line, but we’re all in the same race. A different starting point doesn’t eliminate us from contention.
Sure the path, and challenges, will be different, but the potential doesn’t change. It’s not a matter of can or can’t, but of will or won’t.
Will you embrace the process it takes to reach excellence? Will you choose to stay diligent and faithful to the seemingly meaningless, mundane habits necessary to consistently perform at your best? Will you approach your challenges as opportunities to reinforce your conviction to the goal or as threats to your hope and confidence in achieving them?
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Maintaining our will is critical to our pursuit of excellence. This may seem simple, but it’s not. Choosing an empowering mindset of will over a victim mindset of can’t requires numerous small habits that lead to the big habit of intentional living. Here are a few to get you started.
The question is rarely can we do something. More than likely it’s: are we willing to do what it takes. I’m not saying the answer to that is always yes. I’m saying that’s almost always the question. It’s not can you? It’s will you?
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.