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The Culture of Winning

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Shaolin, China

A wise, articulate, businessman and my son once helped me understand the “Culture of Winning”.

I now believe the “Culture of Winning” is a desired outcome that once proclaimed with our outer voice sets us on a path to an inevitable outcome. What we think about is what we become…Yes. The power of positive thinking…Yes. The drive to succeed…Yes. The passion for excellence… Yes! Think of the best but prepare for the worst… Absolutely. Focusing and striving for a positive outcome is essential to building a goal. However, it also involves hard work, sacrifice, research, risk assessment, timing, execution, etc. to mention but a few factors – or does it?

Malcolm Galdwell popularized a phrase in his follow-up book to ,“The Tipping Point” – “Blink”. Oh yes, the phrase, “Thin Slicing”, the concept of trusting your intuition, your heart, your instinct. Therefore, is the culture of winning not just the plain old fashion desired and determination to beat your competition? If so, how are we going to do that? By feeling like a winner? Maybe. Or maybe we can reflect on our past successes: What we did right; How we researched, assessed, planned, analyzed subsequently executed a plan. All this in a matter of seconds. This, I believe is called muscle memory and this knowledge is called experiential learning.

Okay… then it is about reliving the feeling of winning, what it took to win and executing your plan. This blog reminds me of the time our son, Luca, at the age of 13 (the ISI logo of the bowing martial artist) celebrated his gift for Kung Fu and took our entire family to the 2nd and 3rd Annual World Wushu Championships in China in 2006 and 2008 winning one silver and three bronze medals as a member of the Canadian Wushu Team.

I repeatedly emphasized the importance of training, diet, sleep, attitude, etc., to the point it placed a heavy strain on my family. Upon our arrival in China, most certainly his animosity towards me was notable. His loathing for me was as deep as a 13 year old boy could feel towards his Father). As guests of the Chinese government we were treated like diplomats in China and escorted to many world treasures and wonders of the world. As a photographer, I personally experienced an awakening into my true calling. Okay, back to the culture of winning… When Luca was advanced to an older group of 16 to 24 year olds in the men’s category, we were troubled to say the least. However, Luca prevailed and won a silver and a bronze medal, thus completing a journey of a lifetime!

Once back at the hotel, this young medalist lay on his bed still in uniform, clutching his silver medal around his neck, closing his eyes, he was drifting into slumber and I (as a proud father) asked him if he still hated me now? Luca responded with a definite, no, and gently fell off into a dream. Quietly under my breath, I said to him, “Now you know what it takes.”

I believe we both now understand the “Culture of Winning” and the demands it will have on your life and the rewards you will cherish and relive forever. Thank you, Lyndon and thank you, Luca.

“Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does what happens to him.” Aldous Huxley (1932)

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