When Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks rumbled for an extraordinary touchdown on Saturday against the world champion New Orleans Saints, sealing an upset victory, a nearby seismic monitoring station registered seismic activity - in other words, an earthquake. Imagine that! A stadium full of fans literally made the earth move. I'd like to think the ground moving helped Marshawn score that touchdown -- that the 66,000+ fans screaming and jumping up and down, aided by a number of fans here in Los Angeles doing the same thing, kept the Saints off balance.
For those of us who are fans of Pete Carroll's Win Forever belief system, it provided a fun metaphor to chew on, along with our game time chips and beer. The system is this: If you have a clear philosophy and vision in life, and you truly believe, you can do anything. If a group of people united with the same philosophy team up - heck, that group can even move the earth.
The philosophy makes complete sense to me. So much in competition, and in the game of life, is mental. The chances of being the best you can be go way up if you are clear about what being the "best" means, and you believe you can get there. It sounds way too simple, and at times corny. But if you poll most people about what their vision or philosophy is and how they are implementing it - most will look down at their shoes, mumble, and realize that they have been way too vague in their goal setting and belief system, for most of their lives.
I have seen Win Forever work turning around a USC football program, and it obviously was in play with the previously 6-9 Seahawks last Saturday.
I also have seen it work on the streets of LA, where people have created a vision to stop violence and keep kids safe. People, who no one believed in, with felony records, no money and no credibility, created a clear vision of stopping violence and restoring their communities. And with unwavering belief, they have become a critical part of a team that has brought homicides in LA to record lows. They are winning forever. It is the most inspiring thing I have ever seen - to see people so far down lift themselves up, to become leaders in their communities. It makes me believe that if more of us really understood how to Win Forever, a lot of things would change.
One time a fairly cynical friend said to me, "You know, to Win Forever... that means you actually have to win forever. The slogan doesn't sell if Pete loses football games." But that actually misses the point. Winning Forever is not about the won and loss column. It is not about having a good day or good year. It is about living to our fullest potential, regardless of the circumstances.
2010 was a pretty crummy year for millions of Americans. My hope is that individually, and collectively, we create a vision that is as inspiring as I saw on the field last Saturday, and that I have seen in the streets of LA this year. My hope is that we learn to Win Forever and believe in our greatness no matter how far down or up we are. My hope is that we experience a lot more earthquakes like that one, on and off the field.