To win. To be called a winner. To not be amongst the vast majority of non-winners that mankind is comprised of. If you haven't won, have you necessarily lost? A question none of us want to face. And so we all want to win.
But what does it take? Everything. A deceptively simple answer, yet a potent secret. A well-known secret, like so many others in life.
Along the way, there are defeats. Not once, nor a few, but necessarily several. Large soul-shattering ones, and small repeated nagging ones; both kinds testing your resolve, again and again. But there is a silver lining. That they do more than test you. They teach.
It is a peculiarly human trait. We can know from the examples of others, but we only truly learn from our own lives. So every lesson must be found in the debris of failure, every dream must have its roots in the depths of defeat. Everything else is transient, superficial, an idle wish that will be extinguished in the violent gusts of fate.
The pursuit of victory is ennobling. It is a purging of yourself from the seduction of the mundane. Sacrifice is essential. It is only in the giving up of the valuable that you let yourself know that which is most valuable. But isn't that the hardest thing to do? Not really. Not when you know you're on the right path, towards the dream that keeps you awake at night. And when you are, every sacrifice along the way is easy.