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In case you missed it, Team USA Women’s Ice Hockey took home the Gold last week!   Well done ladies!


When I heard the news, my mind easily drifted to another epic win for Team USA Ice Hockey – the 1980 Men’s Team …back to the year they were considered major underdogs against the Russians, but whom we beat anyway on our way to take home the Gold!



Thanks to Al Michaels’ famous call “Do you believe in miracles?” and Disney’s telling of the journey in Miracle on Ice, the victory has been immortalized as a “miracle.”


When I started reflecting on “the miracle,” stay with me here, another famous miracle quote came to mind:  “It’s not a miracle, we just decided to go.”   This gem was spoken by Astronaut Jim Lovell, Commander of Apollo-13, and was also immortalized by a movie.  Commander Lovell said that statement in reference to the USA’s Neil Armstrong landing on the moon.  The USA thought it was a “miracle,” but Commander Lovell knew better.


Two totally different situations – both dubbed “miracles.”


I agree with Commander Lovell. Now don’t get me wrong, I DO believe in miracles; I just do not believe that THESE two “wins” were miracles.


According to our friends over at Webster, a miracle is “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.”  Now while I DO believe that both situations were “extraordinary event[s],” I believe that they demonstrated not divine intervention, but human intervention in human affairs.


Simply put, Team USA won Gold and Team NASA won the race to the Moon starting with a decision.  A decision to win.   A decision to put a stake in the ground.  A decision to start.  A decision to go.  A decision to move.


After that decision, a plethora of other characteristics and traits were put into use, such as but not limited to:  communication, teamwork, trust & respect, leadership, vision, training, and fortitude. Combinations of those behaviors were what resulted in the “so called” miracles.


Maybe they would be called miracles if there were no preparation, no training, no hard work, no perseverance.  But both wins were filled with dedication to those things – they prepared, they trained, they worked hard, they demonstrated perseverance time and time again. Their leaders had a clear vision. Their leadership developed fine-tuned training plans and processes. They won because they first decided to and then they put the time, effort, and resources behind that decision.


Commander Lovell had it right – it was NOT a miracle, they just decided to!


How many miracles go unrealized simply because you do not decide to start?  Your team does not decide to win?   With so many things in life that are out of your control, a decision is not one of them.



Author Doreen Linneman

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