I was watching pro bull riding on TV a few months ago and I noticed a bunch of the riders had the words “Say I Won’t” on their vests. Being the Google queen I of course searched who and what this sponsor was. I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a line of clothing, t-shirts mainly, that say, not surprisingly, “Say I Won’t” on them.
This is kind of my philosophy too, for better or worse. Nothing inspires me more to do something than being told I can not, or should not, do it. Immature? Perhaps. Human nature? I think for quite a few of us it is.
I’ve seen this effect in others besides myself. For instance, the pro bull riders just had their World Cup last weekend. Each country has one captain, and he chooses 5 of his country’s best riders to compete in what amounts to the Olympics of bull riding. Country against country, the highest combined score wins. The Brazilian team captain chose 4 out of his 5 riders, but seemed to be dragging his feet on the last rider. The choice of who that 5th man should be was obvious, but yet the captain refused to name him. When he was questioned regarding the delay he’d respond with things like, although the rider was good he wasn’t a team player, he didn’t listen to instruction, there were other men who could be chosen instead.
Meanwhile, what did the rider in question do? I don’t want to misquote statistics, but last competition I saw he had completed his 5th consecutive 90-point ride, which if you don’t know the sport, is pretty damn amazing. He was breaking records, proving himself to the man who said he couldn’t do it. Yes, he finally got named for the team at the last possible minute. And guess what? It was his ride that clinched the world title for his country.
Being told “no” is a powerful motivator and I make no apology that it is one of my strongest. Just say I won’t and watch me go…