I discovered a Venus Williams quotation the other day:

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.”

What was I saying? A famous tennis star said the same thing I’ve been saying in here all along. I respect Venus Williams. She’s absolutely right.

The way to win is to not remain idle.

Sheryll Cashin in her book Place not Race also tells us the secret to winning. Buy her book because you won’t be disappointed. At the end, in a letter to her sons, she writes:

“You have to exert yourself. Everything worth doing is hard, difficult, complicated. You should welcome failure. Sometimes it is the only route to success…No one ever achieved great things in front of a TV. My goal, the goal I was taught to reach for, was an A in every class. It is the reaching, not the grade, that matters.”

That quote alone is worth the price of the book.

Reaching is what each of us can do. The striving is what counts not the result. We can be proud of our efforts even when we fail. Failure is the opportunity cost of success.

Winning involves trying. It involves making the effort that you’re able to make. It requires that we shut our ears to the hate, to the critics telling us that what we want to do can’t be done, or that we shouldn’t try to do what we want to do.

I’ll end here with another quotation from Steve Tatham:

“Confidence comes from making mistakes–the more mistakes you make, the more you know what not to do.”

The beauty of life is that a person can know victory and defeat and that’s OK. Sitting on the sidelines isn’t the way to live.

You’re not always going to win in the traditional sense of what constitutes winning.

That’s OK. Getting in the game is what matters.

That’s what my Left of the Dial ethic suggests: if other people won’t allow you on their playing field, you create a playing field of your own. Or if you want to, you try to compete in mainstream society.

Either way, victory is possible. You can do it if you try.

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