In 1949 the Kentucky Derby Champion was Ponder. Most people know that introverts are regularly inside their head. But notice, this race horse, with a somewhat introvert trait as a name, won the race. How could this win help introverts with lessons that make this the year that more introverts find themselves winning their race?
Even the best bred have challenges. My husband and I had the pleasure, and honor, of showing our 1933 Packard in Louisville, Kentucky. There at Colonial Downs we learned a little history about the Triple Crown history. It is a tremendous challenge for the horses to get there:
Only America’s best three-year-old thoroughbreds, as well as outstanding horses from other nations, make it there.
All three races that make the winners are run within five weeks, a grueling schedule for the horses.
And three races are of varying distances: 1¼ mile; 1 3/16; and 1½ mile.
How incredible is that winning horse? If as an introvert you want 2010 to be a year of success, or being noticed for your creativity or for being taken seriously, while it may be a challenge, it is still possible. Maybe it won’t be in the speed of a Kentucky Derby race, less than two minutes, but it could be your year to win.
Other people’s words. In 1949, trainer Ben A. Jones said that Ponder was about as good a contender to win in a Kentucky Derby as a Shetland pony. But Contender won! Well okay, not the triple crown but remember, to get to the Triple Crown was a strength in itself. Thank goodness Ponder knew where the winning came from. Not outside of him. Ponder’s wins came from within. Introverts, usually in our head, can leverage that talk into winning action. Begin to believe your confidence in yourself more than other people’s misguided words. If you can’t find it inside on your own, get a coach or a mentor. It’s there; it really is.
Ponder was a closer. Horses that are closers run races from behind. It seems that for years the introvert has been misunderstood. Usually we have to come in from behind. But when it matters, we’re the leaders and we’re the idea people who can be counted on.
And then, in a number of traditions that play a large role in the Derby atmosphere, here’s one to aim.
The infield, a spectator area inside the track, isn’t for the introvert. So what if the infield is relatively inexpensive and attracts tens of thousands of people. What introvert wants that kind of a crowd? We might be “innie” people but following the lead from this Derby tradition, we’re going to want to go where fewer people go. “Millionaire’s Row”, the area with the expensive box seats. That’s what to aim for to get a sense of the party with a smaller group.
We may have to may the price – let go of the introvert myths, get out of our head and move into action. We may need to learn to not listen to others and instead take that quiet time of reflection and begin to listen to what we know. Are we ready to come up from behind? We have to be – the world needs us.
What do you think? What kind of lessons can you learn from Ponder?