Only by seeking challenges, can we hope to find the best in ourselves
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT is a television show that showcases talent of every kind, of every age, and every race. People come from all over the country to strut their stuff in the hopes of winning one million dollars and headlining in Las Vegas, every entertainers dream. However, this show is about so much more than the money or the Las Vegas contract. It is every bit as much about the power of the human spirit and how important it is to have the mind-set of a champion.
Every week this show brings me to tears of joy, which is exactly why it's a hit. It sparks the imagination of the viewer to wonder if they too might have a talent, or something that they could feel so passionate about. Every week we live through the people who show up to turn the life they have, into the life they dream about.
One such contestant was a cancer survivor, whose talent is singing.
Her proud husband urged her to enter the contest because when she sang around the house, her joyful noise had inspired and moved him so much, he wanted her to share it with the rest of the world. Never mind that it might bring her fame and fortune, something that might make a lesser man feel insecure enough to hold her back. Nothing about her screamed "entertainer." She had never sung professionally, nor had she ever been trained, but Lord, she loved to sing. She was passionate about it.
Waiting backstage to go on, she was very, very nervous, as anyone who was putting themselves on the line in such a foreign way to their being would be.
It was evident that neither the judges, nor the audience, expected what they were about to get. The minute she opened her mouth to sing, her nervousness gave way to grace, and a glorious and powerful voice came pouring out of her. Everyone (except one of the judges) was slack-jawed. When it came time for the third judge to comment and cast his vote, he flat-out said, "I don't think you have the talent to win this." This humble woman, looked him straight in the eye and simply said, "I CAN win this." She said it with such courage and conviction, but without an ounce of arrogance, that she changed his mind right then and there, and he voted her through to the next round.
The studio audience went wild, and so did we.
What was the difference between her and the others who did not get through? She had he mindset of a champion.
The same thing happened when a male baton-twirling artist competed. Here was a boy who had been ridiculed his whole life to the point that it could have destroyed his ego and spirit. It's not exactly a male dominated sport. Not him. He knows who he is. He does not hear that other noise. He has always seen himself as a winner in his mind. Others knocked him down, but he kept getting up and stayed focused. And humble. And grateful. He too, has the mindset of a champion.
We can learn a lot from watching these people.
What does it take to have this mind-set? Laser-like focus, for one. Believing in your self, no matter what. Steering clear of negativity, and learning to recognize it in all it's various forms and disguises. Overcoming self-defeating thoughts. Side-stepping people who pull you down or hold you back. Spending time only with people who believe in you and want the best for you. Knowing that winners hang with winners. Facing what scares you and overcoming the fear. Taking risks; risk nothing, gain nothing. Practice. Practice. Practice. Persistence. Persistence. Persistence.
It doesn't matter if your talent is singing or mom-ing. Believing in yourself makes you a winner in anyone's eyes. We all have special talents in life, we just have to know what makes us happy and focus on that. Don't listen to the nay sayers, they are only projecting their lack of courage onto you. Be your own champion.
The principles of life are the same as the principles of a world-class athlete. Believe in yourself, mind your business, and do your work, and you are already a winner.