One of my most cherished assumptions is that all goals are reachable if you work hard to achieve them. I believe with dedication and faith, any person can accomplish what they set out to do in life and become a winner.
Throughout history there were many people we considered winners, who, in fact, lost many times in their lives. A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had "no good ideas." Even though he hit 714 home runs, Babe Ruth struck out 1,330 times. Thomas Edison performed more than 1,100 unsuccessful experiments before inventing the light bulb. He said, "I found out 1,100 ways how not to do things." Even the great racing horse Secretariat lost his first race.
I can remember a time when I so desperately wanted to win, but I didn't. My sixth grade class was having a spelling bee. Every student had to stand at the front of the room with his or her own mini chalkboard.
When Mrs. Berberich, my teacher, said a word, everyone had to spell it on his or her chalkboard at the same time. If you misspelled the word, you were forced to sit down at your desk and keep quiet. At first I did not see the enjoyment in the exercise. In fact, I can distinctly remember drawing dinosaurs on my chalkboard while my teacher explained the rules of the spelling bee. It wasn't until I heard the words "McDonald's Extra Value Meal" that I looked up and saw the bright yellow McDonald's Extra Value Meal certificate that would be given to the winner. In sixth grade, it was cool to be eating a Big Mac and not a Happy Meal. The spelling bee that was about to start all of a sudden became important to me. My...