The Answer is: I Do It To Win © 2011 by Wayne D. Lewis, Sr.
Recreated from a 1986 Toastmasters Speech Competition
by Wayne D. Lewis, Sr.
“No matter where I go; no matter who I am with, or no matter what I do, the bottom line is: I Do It, To Win!”
To the Area Governor, Chapter President, Distinguished Guests, visitors, and members, I am honored to be here this evening. As often as I have heard speakers say this, I now realize, that they were truly expressing a genuine feeling of honor and pleasure in addressing the group for which I was in the audience. So today, for that one person who is in the audience today, who may not believe that I am truly honored to be here, just wait, your day will come, and you will understand why I join with some remarkable speakers who say to such distinguish audiences like this, “It is an honor to speak to you this evening.”
I want to thank Dr. Carolyn Sanders, our Area Governor, for encouraging me to participate in this competition. As a new speaker, I am humbled to be asked to bring to the table a message of motivation to many of you whose podium experience is light years ahead my own. But, I am also inspired by what many of you have done over the past few months in your support and encouragement of me, and I thank you for taking the time to share with me the benefit of your experience, as well.
Dr. Sanders asked me, as I am sure that she has asked many of you who are competing this evening, to talk about something that best represents you in this competition. In particular, Dr. Sanders asked me to talk about, and I am paraphrasing: “Wayne, why do you the things that you? What do you do to become successful?”
I would like to thank Dr. Sanders for asking that question on one hand, and on the other, scold her for putting so much pressure on an inexperienced presenter. But all in all, it’s all good, and I appreciate the opportunity to not only share a positive word with you today, but to be with you in this forum.
The question before me, as asked by Dr. Sanders, “Wayne, Why do you do the things that you do?” My answer is simple: The reason that I do the things that I do, is because I want to be successful. In other words: in all that I do, I Do It, to Win.
I would like to thank my wife and son (1986) for their patience, as they helped me put together this very special message, because although the answer may seem to be a simple one, it reflects not only what I have gone through in my life, but what I believe a number of people have gone through in their lives, as well: The basic desire to achieve, to win.
When we talk about winning, many of us can refer to great sports games, such as football games, basketball games, or hockey games, for example. Others may reflect on the Olympics, or golf. My best winning game is not necessarily in the sports arena. What comes to mind of a winner, is my adopted father, Dan Lewis. He was an 8th grade drop-out, but he taught me how to read. He had no children of his own, but he took me in at 6 years of age, and adopted me at 9 years of age. Despite his limitations as others might see him, he did not leave me on the side of the road, for someone else to take care of, or to teach me right from wrong. He, as my uncle by marriage, and my aunt Sarah, took me into their home, and helped me to become a better person. I thank them for instilling in me a desire to win.
When we talk about winning, many of us may think about the awards that actors and singers win at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards or the Emmys. I think about the young boys and girls who say no to drugs; who say no to violence and dropping out of school. These are the winners for whom there are no awards readily available, but they come in 1st place to me. These are the winners who stay in school, not sure of the immediate benefits, but who remain committed to their goals. These are our role models, they do it to win.
Last, but not least, when I think about what it takes to win, I think about my family. Every time I get up to go to work, I do it, to win! Every time I decide to return to school, and get some type of certification or degree, after being out for a long time, I did it, to win! When the bills came due, and I had to decide how to pay one bill while trying to put off another bill, because the money was not always there, I did it, to win! Whenever we had to shop for needed shoes and clothes, or to put food on the table, I remember that we had to always stretch a dollar, just to make ends meet. It was what I had to do for them. I did it, to win!
When I lost my job, and had only a limited income, I remembered why I had to get back on my feet- I had to do it, to win! For my wife, for whom I am eternally grateful, who has always supported me, even when I doubted myself, with her encouragement, I knew I had to press on, and I did. Why? I did it, to win.
So Dr. Sanders, when you asked me to prepare this message, asking me why I do the things that I do in order to be successful, the answer didn’t come to me with the greatest ease. Why, because it was too obvious, that for all that I had gone through in my life, the reason was all but too clear. The answer was then, as it is now, as I want you all to know, it is simply this:
No matter where I go; no matter who I am with, no matter what I do, the bottom line is---- I Do It, To Win.