Book Review: The Win Within

The Win Within: Capturing Your Victorious Spirit is a motivational book by Bert R. Mandelbaum, MD, that basically uses examples of athletes and others to inspire. Not being familiar with the genre, I don’t know if that’s the usual formula, but the best part is how the author uses those examples to tie his points together.

Of the moments he used, the most important is the author’s accidental meeting with President Clinton; the lessons he learned from that, from talking to a stranger on the elevator to being interested in everyone you come across, would certainly benefit the entire world if more people were to follow them. He also stresses teamwork, again something not very evident in our modern world, and even less in this country where the individual is king. An excellent example he uses is between the New England Patriots’ coach and quarterback (I sense half of you are going to skip the book just from the hatred those men inspire). Two distinct personalities working together for the common good, or to win super bowls, whichever you prefer.

My favorite story, though, is the one about Floyd Patterson at the Helsinki Olympics, the way he acted when he received the gold medal from what I have no doubt was a beautiful Finnish blonde. I would tell you to Google that, but I can’t seem to find anything on it on the web.

One part that made me laugh was his use of the old saying “Your true character is revealed when no one else is looking.” Or as they put it more colorfully in Buckaroo Banzai, “Character is what you are in the dark.”

For fans of women’s soccer, there’s a few bits by the late and dearly missed Clive Charles, most notably “Do the right thing 100% of the time.” There’s also a section on baseball’s home run cheaters, all of which I heartily agree with.

In all, I don’t think there’s anything individually new here. The important function is how to put those individual parts into a way of life, and this book does that admirably, for those who care to listen.




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