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After Richmond’s extraordinary win in last weekend’s AFL Grand Final, media shy star Dustin Martin was asked how the team handled their nerves before the big game.

He simply said, “Our desire to succeed has outweighed our fear of failure.”

A team that has so often underachieved on big stages was able to perform brilliantly under the brightest of lights.

A team that has so often buckled under the weight of the expectations of their long-suffering fans finally threw off that burden to play with flair and freedom.

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Last weekend, in a very disappointing game from my beloved AFL team, the Richmond Tigers, there was another story.

Defender Kelvin Moore played his 85th game for the Tigers.

He had 13 kicks and 6 handpasses.

That’s not normally much of an achievement, except that Kelvin wasn’t expected to play football again after a serious hip injury almost two years ago.

His injury was described by surgeons as resembling a car accident victim and it required six operations.

He was told that, no, he couldn’t expect to be able to play sport again, especially at an elite level, but Kel refused to accept this prognosis.

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Richmond Football Club coach, Damien Hardwick, recently observed of his team, “Last year they hoped, now they are starting to believe they can win.”

What he’s saying is that they’ve turned hope into expectation which is a powerful transition to make for any organisation or individual. 

It means that they go into any challenge with a different mindset.  Instead of relying on external factors to go their way, they understand that if they perform to their best, they have a very good chance of winning.

Living in hope is a good thing.  It’s better than giving up altogether and complaining about the circumstances that have conspired against you.  Hope is optimistic and positive, positioning yourself to better identify and grasp opportunities that come your way.  But living with an expectation of success is a more powerful mindset that enables you to take charge of your life more effectively.

Some people would debate the difference, but let me ask you what’s more compelling: Read the rest of this entry »

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