The Need To Win

The Need To Win
When an archer is shooting for nothing
He has all his skill.
If he shoots for a brass buckle
He is already nervous.
If he shoots for a prize of gold
He goes blind
Or sees two targets-
He is out of his mind!
His skill has not changed. But the prize
Divides him. He cares.
He thinks more of winning
Than of shooting-
And the need to win
Drains him of power.
-Selections, Chuang Tzu

72 thoughts on “The Need To Win”

  1. Here’s a great quote from a teriffic short film I saw on ifilm (“The Last Birthday Card”):
    It doesn’t matter if you suck at it–you do what you love.

  2. Interesting selection from Selections. Any reason in particular you chose them?
    Anyway I’ve been keeping up with this site frequently since discovering it. When is the Actors section going to be up? I think the site as itself serves an important lesson as it is, to both actors, and fans. I really like your choice in designing this site as Wil the human being, instead of Wil the perception gave by media. Having had relative fame (Canadian TV) myself as a child and teen, I can appreciate your work from both points of view. Visiting this site only a hand full of times I have been given a huge insight to you as a person, rather than your character on Star Trek: TNG who my girlfriend had a crush on (no seriously). All the success to you.. and stay away from my girlfriend.

  3. I disagree with the suggestion. From a personal point of view, having a goal focuses me. The need to succeed raises my game. I suppose one question is whether doing something for the sake of doing it is having an aim or not.

  4. A wise man, or at least a Cowboy once said,
    “Generally if you’re lips are flappin, you ain’t learnin much.”

  5. An important thing to see, and the one that caught my attention, is the specific phrase, “He thinks more of winning than of shooting-“.
    That’s a grain of precious example, and illustrates to me something I see everywhere. It’s a simple thing, but it’s base and desperate and pounded into us from our youth, and that is the need to be a “winner” by society’s modern definitions. Be a winner, at whatever cost. Not to live a good life. Not to follow a path of happiness and joy. Not to share the good things with others to make their time here better. To win.
    When was winning something other than living well?

  6. Wil and everyone else…
    it is the LOVE OF MONEY that is evil.
    or, when all you think about is money, money money and how can I get it all…
    money in itself, is not evil.. it’s just a way
    to barter, trade… & so on etc…etc…
    and there is nothing wrong in winning something
    of whatever value.. it’s the heart condition or desire behind the winning..
    my brother tried a career in photography once..
    (wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more say no more)
    the moment you have to make a living, to try a support a familiy, while doing something you like or love to do, it becomes work… say like…
    you’re an actor… always looking for that next “gig” or “bit” and never getting it. or if you do get to be a regular and after several years, an offer comes along, and we find that the value we thought we were to whatever program, colides with our desire. conflick happens and whatever love or joy we had… well we can learn very quickly that it no longer enjoyable, and we can grow to hate or be angered by it…
    dumping everything we have… to try again and find our “prize” and just another thought…
    anger or hate, does lead one to the dark side of life…. so as I learned.. turn away from the dark side. don’t give in to your hate…
    I learned that somewhere, sometime ago…
    take care Wil, sometimes you don’t need a gps
    to find your way…

  7. “When an actor comes to me and wants to discuss his character, I say, ‘It’s in the script.’ If he says, ‘But what’s my motivation?, ‘ I say, ‘Your salary.'”
    -Alfred Hitchcock
    just another “thought”

  8. Well I hate to say it ..but its very true.
    Most of the time I don’t have “goals”.
    Just go with the flow.
    (Hippies never die they just post at WWDN.)

  9. Truly words of wisdom! Excellence and accomplishment are the best motivations. True, monetary rewards are quite useful when it comes to paying the mortgage and buying food, but being outstanding at what you do is the best way to “take care o’ bidness.”
    But I ramble, and possibly even digress.

  10. Ah, the wisdom of the Chinese.
    By the way, Will, I took your advice (and Jerhanner’s) and I rereada the Toa of Pooh. I’m already intrigued. I’m alreay looking at things differently, and I’m signing up for Tai Chi lessons. Thanks!

  11. Wow…typo central! I’m using my mother’s keyboard, and it’s kinda wierd. In that last post I wrote, I meant to type “reread” and “already” and “Tao of Pooh”.

  12. Since I am not a long winded person, I will simply say thank you for that! It is a very simple truth and we all need to be reminded of these things from time to time! :)

  13. Thanks, Wil–I have a recital this week, after many years away from singing, and I’ve been freaking out about it. This gives me a better way to think about it–i.e., it’s about just doing the recital, just singing, and connecting with the audience. It’s not (or it would be better for me if it wasn’t) about the external “prizes”, like impressing people, or proving myself, or making connections, etc., etc.
    Fortunately, money doesn’t come into it, so that may make it easier for me to let go of the external prizes . Not that money isn’t a problem in every other area of my life, just not this one…

  14. hops wrote:
    >”I met the lead singer of everclear..
    > anyone jealous?”

  15. For the education of the neanderthal Brit here, (we’re only just getting used to staircases, electricity and the invention of the refrigerator!!!) “WHAAAT!!!……You can get SLICED bread??”

  16. I’m Canadian so naturally I thought about “The Need to Win” as it relates to hockey. Anybody who watched the Ottawa Senators implode in Game 7 of their series against the Toronto Maple Leafs (hey Toronto, the plural of “leaf” is “leaves”, you dolts) knows the fear of winning can be as debilitating as the fear of losing.

  17. When something strikes you as profound
    It is worth reading
    When something strikes you as intellegent
    It is worth listening to
    When something strikes you as beautiful
    It’s worth holding on to
    If all of this is true then why do we refuse
    To Read
    To Listen
    To Hold on
    If we want to change the world
    We must first change ourselves.
    Sorry, I’m not much of a poet, but this is what the post inspired in me. Hope ya enjoy.

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