Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Winning and losing

Each time I hear about winning and losing, one icon towers above … Vince Lombardi. I remember one of his many quotes, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”

In all matters, sports, career, or life, never settle. It doesn’t necessarily mean to be first, second, third. This can refer to the individual who goes through life playing it safe, not taking chances. Life can mean many different things for each person, but one thing for certain is you should do something to improve it. Do something!

You ever get that feeling where you sat around all day, without a worry, go to sleep and wake up the next day refreshed? Not unless you were sick all day, right? If you were able-bodied and for one day you just stared at the wall and did nothing constructive, the next day your energy level would still be as deficient as it was the prior day. On the other hand, what about where you ran around all day doing errands, taking care of things back-to-back, to the point where by the time you laid to bed at night you felt like you conquered the world? This is because you prepared a list of things to accomplish, in a period of time, and you saw it to completion. You competed to check off your list, you put your game face on, and you succeeded.

To win in anything you have to compete. When you compete, you put all your efforts toward that goal and you finish the job. These actions help you win. Don’t go into things half-heartedly. If you do, you might as well not take on the challenge.

Not only do you need to do it because of you, but there are others that may be watching. In a boxing match you have two individuals ready to pound each other to pieces, or so their press conferences show. Finally in that first round of their match you see the intensity of the winner, and you see the unpreparedness of the loser. You can already see in your head the ending where the boxer will say he was not ready, didn’t train properly, etc. Why would you get in the ring with someone you’ve been talking crap about? You have to play to win, not to lose.

Not to take anything from anyone’s talent … thank you Manny Pacquaio for an awesome two-round knockout this weekend … but talent is sometimes not enough. When your mind is not in the right mindset to win, you will not win. When your preparation is not at peak capacity, you cannot expect to win. I hate to call people winners and losers, so I’ll let Lombardi do it for me, “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.” Get two prepared, motivated, and talented boxers in the ring, and you will get a slug fest that EVERYONE will be on their feet on, no matter the outcome. In the end people will remember each fighter's determination and focus to win. How do YOU want to be remembered in your actions in the workplace, in the home, or in your life ... as a winner or as a loser?

When you enter into competitions, do so with a focus to win. When you enter a new role in your career, do so with a focus to win. When you enter a new stage in a relationship, do so with a focus to win. Otherwise don’t even bother. There will be some rough spots along the way, but that’s expected for anything worthwhile tackling. Another Lombardi quote is, “The real glory is being knocked down to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it.” When you pour all your efforts in to win you cannot lose, as one final Lombardi quote that says it the best, “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.”

Psych yourself to win, and prepare for a battle that may suck the energy and wits out of you. However, put your mind in a state of winning. Doing so influences your action, and your actions will lead to a result. Which mindset do you have right now, to win or to lose?


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