Knowing The Difference Between The Wish, The Will and The Win



“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before.”

— Bonnie Blair

I believe we are all born to win, achieve some measure of greatness, be a positive influence on others, live well, and leave an inspiring legacy. Understanding the difference between a wish for a better future and the will to make that future a reality separates the victors from the victims of circumstance. The wins come as a result of our willful determination to work through the process.


The Wish

  • to have a desire for (something, such as something unattainable)

  • an act or instance of wishing or desire (a want)

  • an object of desire (a goal)


The Will

  • the act, process, or experience of willing: Volition

  • mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending

  • a disposition to act according to principles or ends

  • the power of control over one’s own actions or emotions (1)


1) Possessing the Will to Win

“The difference between those who wish for a win, and those with the will to win, is persistence and a well thought out gameplan.”
— JSP

How many times have you heard the saying, “If you can believe it, you can achieve it?” The reality is believing you can accomplish something is only the starting point. Regardless of visions, dreams, and imagination, dreams never see the light of day without a process rooted in reality.


Mark Cole accurately stated, “Fantasies exist only in the imagination,” Walt Disney understood that as well. Disney created an entire division dedicated to “Imagineering” (the merging of engineering and imagination) to make his dreams a reality.


Zig Ziglar said, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” Walt Disney never allowed what conventional wisdom said couldn’t be done to interfere with entertaining the possibilities that can get it done.


Consistency – The Habit of Winners


I read that Paul McCartney of Beatles fame said German composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s commitment to writing one new song a week for the church choir inspired him. So, with John Lennon, Paul decided to write one song a week and experimented with attempts to write one a day; their persistence paid off.


From August 1966 through the fall of 1967, the Beatles released approximately 40 songs, that’s an astounding writing, arranging, recording one new song about every two weeks! (2)


The Beatles didn’t achieve greatness by wishing for an opportunity to show what they had to offer; they made purposeful decisions and managed those decisions daily. I’m sure there were days they didn’t feel like writing or rehearsing yet; they did so anyway.


2) Priority One: The Wins Begins Within

“Daily, consistent, focused, faithful expectation raises the miracle power of achieving your dreams.”
— John Di Lemme

The will to win is a relentless daily commitment to the right values and habits aligned with your purpose. The wins come to those who consistently make intentionally informed decisions and manage them daily.


The Right Priorities Guide Your Decisions


John C. Maxwell writes, “What you decide to do is up to you, but your choices will determine who you become as a result. That’s why choosing well is so important. When it comes to making decisions, let me give you five things that help make your decisions beneficial:

  1. Action — a choice means nothing without action behind it. Whatever you decide to do, do it.

  2. Timing — making the right choice at the right time increases your odds of success; don’t wait to do something you know you need to do.

  3. Management — revisit your decisions and make sure you’re living up to them.

  4. Acceptance — this comes down to three things: ownership, authenticity, and accountability; be responsible for your choices, invite others to speak into them, and keep the commitments public to ensure you stay on track.

  5. Leadershift — there’s the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but then there’s the Maxwell version, “If it ain’t broke, break it and make it better, because nothing stays good forever.” Adjustment is the price of relevance.

I believe that good leaders have a bias for action, but I also know that you can learn to make good decisions and take good actions. It’s not something you have to be born with—it’s a skill you can learn.” (3)


“Winning is something that builds physically and mentally every day that you train and every night that you dream.”
— Emmitt Smith

End Notes

(1) Merriam Webster Dictionary

(2) List of Songs Recorded by the Beatles Wikipedia https://bit.ly/3GjWbyL

(3) Today Matters by John C. Maxwell



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