And the day.

The path to accomplishment, success and excellence lends itself to being presented from a big picture perspective. As the glowing culmination of efforts, inspired by uncommon vision.  Yet like any worthy endeavor, it doesn’t just happen. You don’t just get there. And you cannot just become.

It is work. You have to choose. Then start.  You have to be able to see what’s right in front of you.

You must learn to master the small to get to the bigger things. And you must change what’s inside to impact the outside.

When it comes to winning the day, you must first figure out how to win yourself.

That too is work. You have to choose.  Start.  See what’s in front of you.  Master the small to get to the big.  And change what’s inside first to impact what’s on the outside.

While we think we have it together, it is in our nature to fool ourselves.  We allow behaviors – common to us all – to lead us to our defeat.

Like circumstances where you behave as your own worst enemy.  When things somehow get the best of you.  The times you thought, spoke or acted out of character.   When can’t miss opportunities somehow slipped away.  Taking your eye off the ball.  Losing sight of the big picture.  Not seizing  the day.

Ways , that despite what you are convinced are your “better efforts”, lead to failure.  And losing yourself in the process.

So level with me:

Are you who – you want to be?

Are you where – you want to be?

Are you what – you want to be?

Are you  the best – that you can be?

You already know the answers.

You understand exactly where I am coming from and what I am talking about.

And based on those indisputable facts, the choice remains yours. To remain mired in the status quo.

Or decide to win.  First over yourself.  And then all the days that follow.

You fail to recognize the power you possess.

Choice.

It  empowers you to determine the outcome of each one of those questions.

You don’t have to choose.

You get to choose.

You don’t have to decide the who, what and where.

You get to decide the who, what and where

You don’t have to be the best you can be.

You get to be the best you can be

And finally, you don’t have to win.

You get to win.

Call it what you want. A gift. Blessing.  Or privilege. But getting to do something is a helluva lot  different than just having to.

Winning over yourself is about embracing a wholly new mindset.  A challenge to see your immediate universe in a totally different way.

It’s work.

But start.

Choose to dispense with all of the self-defeating thoughts, the crass words that belittle your better self and the misdeeds that betray your true character.  Develop the traits that will help you become  who you want to be.

Decide to become fully invested instead of selectively employing your abilities and accepting a reasonably comfortable  level of participation. Take the initiative to embrace adversity instead of letting someone do it for you.  Rise to the occasion when no one else will.  Cultivate the behaviors  that will take you where you want to be.

Put a halt to all the concessions you make  to appease your lesser self. Commit to becoming what you want to be.

And finally, lose  the closely guarded shortcuts you rely upon to preserve comfort, ensure ease, minimize expectations, shield you from constructive criticism  and limit visibility.  Don’t just stand up, stand out. Become the best version of yourself that you can be.

So before you attempt  to win the day, first choose to win yourself.

It’s work. But start. See what’s in front of you.  Master the small to get to the bigger things.  And change what’s inside first to impact what happens outside.

Once you begin to win over yourself, the benefits will become evident.  They are positive and lasting. And they translate to every aspect of your life.  School.  Home.  Community.  And this team.

If you only remember a portion of this message, make it this:

You don’t have to.  You get to.

You get to choose.

You get to decide who you want to be, where you want to go and what you want to become.

You get to be your best.

You get to win.

Both yourself.

And the day.

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