“The best players don’t always win.  The players who play the best do.” – Lou Holtz  

This is a subtle distinction.  When all the players are on the field, there are some who have more talent, skill, and strength than the others.  Why don’t they always win?  

The effort, attitude, and focus matters too.   

I suspect not everyone is interested in the US Open tennis tournament in New York.  Serena Williams, arguably the greatest to ever play the game, is playing in the tournament for the last time before she retires.   

Last night she played the number two ranked player in the world.  Most expected her career to end last night.  Serena did not.   

At 41, her skills and mobility are past her prime.  At 41, her supreme ability to think and to speak encouraging words to herself are unsurpassed.  She wasn’t the best player on the court last night, but she did play the best.  She upset the better player.   

The crowd was electric.  Everyone there was on the edge of their seats, screaming at full throttle. Magic things happened.   

Don’t diminish the difference you can make with your attitude, effort, and focus.  They shift the balance of the work in front of you.