// you’re reading...

Beating the Odds

Impossible Weather

You can be sure that snow-weary New Englanders do not want to hear that others have had it worse.

But it’s true.

Roald Amundsen not only endured harsher conditions, he pursued them. Amundsen, a Norwegian explorer, became the first person to lead a successful journey to the South Pole.

In doing so, he showed us how to do things that seem beyond anyone’s reach. Success leaves clues.

Today marks Day 14 of a 17-day, multi-media seminar on “How to Do the Impossible.” Dr. Rob Gilbert, a professor of sport psychology, is delivering his take on the impossible on his daily Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690. And I’m blogging here at Total Game Plan, writing one night before returning to the winter-ravaged Northeast.

Amundsen made it to the pole driven by a force that produces miracles, namely, competition. Amundsen was trying to beat British explorer Robert F. Scott to the goal. This rivalry drove Amundsen, a precise man with the heart of a wilderness explorer, to plan better, to think better, to execute better.

“Victory awaits him who has everything in order,” Amundsen said. “Luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time. This is called bad luck.”

Among other things, Amundsen chose to wear fur rather than wool, saving him from moisture. As a result, not only did Amundsen get to the pole first, he survived to tell about it. Scott’s party perished.

Consider yourself blessed if, like Amundsen, you have a great rival. Sometimes it can get frustrating, as it must have been for the Boston Red Sox, who for so many years chased the New York Yankees.

But all that competition forced the Red Sox to get better. They have won three of the last 11 World Series.

Anson Dorrance, who has won 21 national titles as coach of the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team, has thought deeply about competition. He calls his team’s internal competition — or competitive cauldron — the “jewel” of his program.

He also recommends a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke. Here is an excerpt:

“What we choose to fight is so tiny! 
What fights with us is so great. If only we would let ourselves be dominated 
as things do by some immense storm, 
we would become strong too …”

So if it’s any consolation to the people of New England, when they work their way through all this snow, another season with their beloved Red Sox awaits.

*** *** *** *** ***

Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. If your team, group or business needs a motivational speaker, please email coachtully @ totalgameplan.com. Here are some other resources for your success:

Think Better, Win More!” will give you a mental game to match your physical game.

To get better at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success.”

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” for a story or a quote to lift your spirits.

Are you a teacher, boss or sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


No comments for “Impossible Weather”

Post a comment