“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond
measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” - Marianne Williamson
Refuse to Lose
My wife and children will tell you that every morning I am up at 5am sharp. I start each day with my
meditation and reflection. After that I do my daily stretches. Then I catch up on the news and current
affairs. I also use part of that time to get some work related or professional development reading done.
If I am planning to write a post for my blog, McKenzie’s Voice I will also use some the time to explore
themes and topics. At around 6am I prepare breakfast, take a cup of coffee upstairs for Michelle and I
will also have a cup of coffee. My 8am most mornings I am in full work mode. If I have to commute for
work I am usually in the office by latest 9am. This is a part of my basic discipline or regimen. It is part of
my routine and I am very consistent. For me this is like clockwork. I am methodical. My wife and children
will likely tell you that in this respect I am a little dull and highly predictable. However, for me it is this
basic discipline that helps me to develop the mentality to refuse to lose.
This kind of basic discipline is part of what I believe is required for me to succeed in life. In previous
posts I shared with you that I may be considered a delusional optimism. By this I mean, despite knowing
that a high percentage of business fail, as a business consultant I resolutely believe I will be successful.
Most people might consider this be blind faith or even insanity. However, since I started my consulting
practice in 2006, I have successful secured and completed projects in over 20 countries stretching across
the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.
My actions are not based on blind faith and you too should not be directed by blind faith. Just as I have,
you too should have a clear vision and goals. Vision requires farsightedness as well as an understanding
of the skills and information you require to success. Being a delusional optimism does not mean I move
forward without a sense of purpose. For example, a key goal for me in 2014 is to break in the
professional speakers’ market. This is a goal that I started working on from very early in 2013. What is
your vision? What are your goals?
I have invested heavily into developing marketable products such as my Leaders Leave Legacies
Workshop with a view for future gains. I look for speaking opportunities around the Greater Toronto
Area. My actions today are deliberate and purposeful in order to produce the desired results I am
seeking. I am self-motivate and that is why without failing each morning I pull myself out of bed full of
energy and excited to taking the challenges of each day. My motives guide my decisions and actions. Are
you motivated? What actions are you taking to achieve your goals?
How do I know if I am succeeding? I know I am succeeding because within the Greater Toronto Area I
am constantly getting calls to be guest speaker at various events or to conduct workshops. In May, I
have an invitation to deliver a workshop at the Toastmasters District 81Conference in Antigua and
Barbuda under the theme "Unlock Your Potential." My presentation will be on the subject “Building a
So what does it take to succeed? It takes discipline, clear vision and goals and self-motivation to
succeed. It also takes the mentality of refusing to lose. It is recognising that there will be challenges and
resistance. It is acknowledging that nothing that you want in life will be handed to you freely. One of my
favourite quotes is from the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa starting Sylvestor Stallone in which 60-year old
Rocky gives his son a heart-to-heart reprimand about how he needs to stop blaming and take charge of
his life. Rocky said “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and
rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to
your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as
life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward;
how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know
what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits,
and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody.
Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”
You develop the mentality to refuse to lose when you acknowledge that you will face challenges and
resistance. By overcoming those challenges and pushing through the resistance you build stamina and
the skills you require to succeed. Today I can only encourage you to keep moving forward despite the
challenges and resistance you face in your lives. I have being hit hard in my life. In 2009, in addition to
the death of my mother, I took a financial hammering that threatened to shake the core of my
confidence but I kept pressing forward.
To be disciplined requires stamina and a willingness to go beyond what most others are not willing to
do. In 2011, when I went to Afghanistan as the financial sector expert, I knew it would provide me with a
unique experience of understanding some of the key challenges of development in a conflict zone.
Today I am among a select group of experts globally with such practical experience. I did not allow my
fears to get the better of me. To be successful you have to take some risks. Could there have been
serious consequences going to Afghanistan? Absolutely. But you have to take calculated risks as this is
the only way you will succeed. You will succeed where others fear to take action.
Your mentality to refuse to lose is also fueled by your ability to be creative and innovative. Be bold and
brave. For example, in February I saw an opportunity opened up relating to Bitcoin and virtual
currencies including debates on how to regulate this new product. I jumped at it leveraging my
knowledge of finance and regulations. I did a presentation to TD Global Anti-Money Laundering Group –
Testing on the subject. I started a Linkedin group called Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies Regulatory
Development. Since then I have posted two blogs I have written on the subject and three of my
PowerPoint presentations on Bitcoin. Last Friday, I received a request is for me to share my perspective
and insights on the issue and development of Bitcoin under the theme “Bitcoin regulatory development:
a global perspective” at the World Bitcoin Conference 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have also done
an interview with a media outlet in New York on whether Bitcoin can be a part of the development
solution in Africa. These are opportunities that came about as result of my ability to be creative and
I share all of this to encourage you to develop the mentality to refuse to lose. You should take risk, be
brave and bold, be creative and innovative.
Finally no matter what act with dignity and stay humble. Treat everyone with respect, publicly and
behind closed doors. Success is satisfying when accomplished with dignity, humbleness and humility.
Mark McKenzie is a leading Subject Matter Expert in financial services regulation and supervision as well
as a professional motivational speaker, corporate trainer and youth mentor. He can be contacted by
email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 647-406-4622. Read my blog
http://mastbmckenzie.blogspot.ca/ and always write me a comment and share. Follow me on Twitter
@mackynacky. Connect with me on www.youtube.com, Google+, Facebook and Linkedin.