Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Intent to Win

I am a big fan of Michael Jordan. Did you ever watch him play? That guy never gave up. His team could be down 20 points with one minute left, and he went out there with the intent to win.

Think about that.


Where are thoughts go, our energy flows. 

That's why it was so fun watching him. He played to win. ALL the time.

When Michael Jordan was in the tenth grade, he was cut from the varsity basketball game. But this only pushed him to work harder at perfecting his game. As he later said on his Web site, "I think that not making the Varsity team drove me to really work at my game, and also taught me that if you set goals, and work hard to achieve them—the hard work can pay off."

Why do some people get up and work harder when they fall down, while others don't?

I think it's all about how you react to those obstacles. It's about your attitude and what you're visualizing for yourself. It's about knowing that you can get better if you try and you just have to get up each day and keep trying. 

Do you intend to win, whatever "winning" means for you? Finishing a manuscript? Finding an agent? Having an editor say, "I love this book?" 

This intention to win is most important, I think, when we're writing or revising. I believe that's why nanowrimo works so well for a lot of people. They go in with an intention to win - 50,000 words in 30 days. They have a goal, they have a timeframe, and they want to succeed really, really badly. They want that winner's certificate at the end of the month. I've never participated in nanowrimo because I try to have an intent to win with every manuscript I start and believe in. No matter how hard it gets, no matter how awful I fear the manuscript is at times, I wake up each day with a word count or page count goal and I work until I meet that goal. 

I want to finish that manuscript! In other words, I want to win. But it's even more than that. It's never doubting that I *will* win.

Michael Jordan understood that when he went on the court, it didn't matter what had happened the past three quarters. What mattered is what he did in that moment, and his attitude about it. 

So, why not play to win? See what happens!?


  1. Love this, Lisa. Just in time for NaNo.I'm going in witht he intent to win. We shall see...

  2. This is such a good point! There are a lot of people who are "aspiring authors" but never much get passed the writing stage. They stay with that unfinished manuscript forever.

    Then there are others who push and push and push and finally do manage to finish a manscript, edit it and send if out. Then, when they don't get the right attention, keep working.

    I really hope I'm one of those second people.

  3. How did I miss this post last month? Great, great, great stuff.
    I remember MJ talking about the will and purpose to win every possession. Compete at the most basic element of what you choose to do. Sports? Win one play at a time. Science? Move forward one experiment at a time. Writing? Succeed one sentence at a time.
    Thanks for the wise words.