In Other Words

See if you can guess who said these words. I was 13 years old when he delivered this talk in Dayton, Ohio. I pulled excerpts from his last speech and rewrote them in OTHER WORDS….my own.

“Attaining a goal, you have got to pay a price for anything worthwhile and success is paying the price. You’ve got to pay a price to win, you’ve got to pay a price to stay on top, and you’ve got to pay a price to get there. Success is not a sometimes thing, it’s an all the time thing. Success is a habit, just like winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Today we have a new ideology. No letter grades. We want to allow a pass or fail system. There is no hunt for excellence. Sadly, that is the easy way. In sports, business, government the objective is to win, to beat the other guy. Some may think this is a little bit hard and a little bit cruel. I don’t think so. I do think that it is a reality of life. I do think men are competitive and the more competitive the business, the more competitive the men. They know the rules before they get into the game, the objective is to win: fairly, squarely, decently, win by the rules, but still win.

In truth, I’ve never really known a successful man who deep in his heart did not appreciate the discipline it takes to win. I believe that man’s greatest hour, in fact, his greatest fulfillment is that moment when has worked his heart out for a good cause and lies exhausted but victorious on the field of battle. Success in life is a matter not so much of opportunity but rather of concentration and perseverance. The man who succeeds above his fellow man is the man who early in life clearly decides his objective and towards that objective he directs all his powers.

The qualities of success include competitiveness, dedication, thick skin, courage, coordinated effort, teamwork, sacrifice, self-denial, and personal discipline. A personal commitment to excellence. Perhaps most important of all? The will to win. The will to excel, the will to endure. These are the qualities larger and more important than any of the events they occasion. Indeed, I would say that quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s personal commitment to excellence and to victory, whether it be in sports, business or politics.

I think it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and a respect for authority is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that’s worthwhile.

If a man studies his past, his country, his ancestors and the lessons of history, he is educated. I think to be successful, you’ve got to be honest with yourself and balancing the paradox of mental toughness with humility in victory. Simplicity and humility are signs of true strength. Mental toughness means bouncing back from adversity, embracing self-sacrifice, self-denial, fearlessness, dedication and love. Teamwork is a form of love and loyalty. Mental toughness is the perfectly disciplined will. Character in action.

When all is said and done, to be successful, a man must exert an effective influence upon his brothers. The flame of the fire that burns inside him, the magnetism which draws the hearts of other men to him, he is a true leader. He is a success. No man, no matter how great he may be, can long continue to be successful unless he wins battles, because the battle decide all. Success is based upon a spiritual quality, a power to inspire others. Character rather than education is man’s greatest need. The differences in men lies in energy, strong will, a singleness of purpose and an invincible determination.”

Give up? A couple of clues. He went to Fordham University. He coached his team to victory in “The ICE Bowl” He died in 1970.

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