According to Maitreya (the former Terence Trent d'Arby), real life was the inspiration for this song. He told Songfacts: "It's clear that without the right attitude, altitude is difficult to achieve. I was moved once to hear Dennis Miller (of whom I am a fan!) say on a Monday Night Football telecast that 'If you don't feel the pain, losing becomes too easy.' The song and the lyrics came to me immediately after that. I used to think that my music was what America was looking for but I learned the hard way that maybe America was, but the industry wasn't."