Could’a Been a Contender…

Mitch Schneider
October 21, 2019

It has to be one of the most powerful scenes pulled from one of the best movies in cinematic history. Marlon Brando’s impassioned, “I could’a been a contender…”

The question goes beyond the movie’s place in history, and that is: Does this have anything to say to us today? Is it relevant?

Regardless of the answer, I believe the question is relevant because it goes to the very heart of what it means to battle your way to success.

It speaks to me because of where I am in my life, especially with regard to Misfire and getting its central message out into the world. But, this idea of being a contender should be meaningful to everyone. Unless, of course, you have no interest in achieving that kind of success.

Being a contender suggests that you are not only in the game; you have a real chance to win! You have the opportunity to overcome all the obstacles that have been set in front of you: all the challenges arrayed against you, in order to reach the winner’s circle. In order to make it to the podium!

The tragedy is that for most of us the questions are not easily discernible. Nor, are the answers always precise. The goals and objectives aren’t always obvious either. And, all too often, this lack of clarity defeats us before we are even willing or able to take the field.

In order to be a contender, you must be willing to contend — willing to surmount whatever challenges and obstacles stand between you and the prize. You must be willing to bring your “A-game” and do whatever it takes to succeed.

The drive to play and win regardless of the cost must be transcendent: overwhelming, because that what it will take to make the ‘could have been’ disappear.

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