The Moment You “Win”

“It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back…so shake it off.”

There are places where winning is obvious. Michael Jordan hitting a game winning shot, for example, is a clear win.

Most of us don’t deal in such absolutes. Our wins are found in moments, and a moment later we move on to the next challenge. But maybe we should spend more time celebrating and acknowledging the wins we earn along the way.

Watch this amazing performance of Florence and the Machine on Saturday Night Live. Florence Welch is an amazing vocalist in total control of her instrument. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. She earns every win.

She spends the first two minutes toying with the crowd. They’re thinking, “she has a big voice and this a nice song. When does the next skit start?

At 2:00 she starts to morph, to ready for the payoff. It’s like watching Evil Kinevil (sp?) as he backed down the ramp to the starting point and began checking all of his gauges before he started his approach.

At 2:44 she seems to loosen up completely. Her shoulders drop 5 inches and her eyes open wide. She’s mentally where she needs to be. Now she needs to get her tools – her body, her lungs – in sync.

At 3:00 her breathing becomes more deliberate. She puts her body in the right posture to get the most air in her blood and lungs. At this point, she is on the win-horizon, and she is doing what is necessary to be ready to pounce when the opportunity presents itslef.

At 3:12 she goes in to a falsetto, off-tempo thing. If you were listening you would think she was adding “texture”, “balance”, or “dynamics” to the performance. But you are a fool; she’s more like a sprinter getting ready in the blocks.

And at 3:18 she launches a note that kills the whole room. A note that would make Randy Jackson say, “Man…she can BLOW!” A note that lets the SNL booking guy say, “I have booked some bad acts, but this moment makes up for them.” A note that makes everyone watching turn to someone and say, “what was her name again?” A note that makes her manager see dollar signs. A note that makes the band have to work hard to even hold the beat together. A note. The note. The win.

Eight seconds later her body language, her face gives a wink to the crowd and to herself that she KNOWS just hit the hard part, she just WON the performance. For a moment, there is the perfect spot, the perfect piece and peace, the perfect…note. Watch it and see what I mean. Right then, for a moment, Florence Welch wins.

Ask yourself if you’ve ever hit the right note at the right time….if you have to think about it then the answer is “no.” Because you would know the moments that you have been perfect, and you would remember them like they happened a mere moment ago. Do you remember? Do you think about how to repeat the moment? THAT moment? Did you luck in to it…or did you earn it? Were you prepared deliberately? Were you waiting, ready to pounce when your chance of chances came? Are you ready now?

Celebrate your wins. More than that, KNOW when you have won. And take those wins and learn from them so you can win again and again and again. Whether you code or write or sell or talk or sweep the streets of Detroit…know when you have hit the right pitch and done work in a way that no one anywhere could repeat right then and right there. Celebrate your wins and there will be more of them.


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