Often times winning and losing is defined by a competition you have with another opponent, an individual, or a team. Winning and losing can also be defined by those battles we fight with ourselves. Those wins and losses can come in all shapes and sizes. Some of you may have experienced a few of these fights:
A big move
Hell, sometimes it might just be what shirt to wear on a hot date.
Often we let these battles define us, get the best of us, or control our general state.
Whether or not you’re in competition with another individual, team, or yourself…
True winning, however, is no more than one’s own personal pursuit of excellence -Denis Waitley
This post is dedicated to winning. How to define it, how to do more of it, and how to help others to do the same.
It’s more about you than anything else
Granted, if we are playing a team sport winning comes down to not only an individual but to a group of people. However, if those very different individuals take all of the talent they were born with, have developed, and use it collectively towards a common purpose then that is winning.
The same goes for any single person competing in an event or that may be attacking a goal that they have set for themselves.
We have all been blessed with unique talents and skills. As we age we develop new talents and new skills. By using looking towards those and pursuing a goal that genuinely makes you happy… and that is the key… to pursue something not because someone else expects it of you or you feel as if you have to do it. But instead because you are truly passionate about that pursuit that it gives you goose-bumps every time you close your eyes and think about it.
That is winning.
You may have to brush-up, learn new, or challenge the status-quo
To get the win you may have to brush-up on some old skills you haven’t used in a while. Or you may have to leaner some new ones that have not been made familiar just quite yet. Even harder, you may have to break free from the norm and find that what might be working for everyone else, just isn’t quite working for you.
Are you looking for a career change and always loved to write growing up? BOOM! Brushing up and practicing those Shakespearian skills might just be what you need.
Have you set a goal for yourself to get six-pack abs be the new year? BOOM! Learning how to eat right and play your own diet detective might just be what you need for the win!
Have you always wanted to travel the globe but “the mans” got you down? Maybe the house with the picket is best left for someone else and the bungalow or the tent is more your thing. Maybe not forever but at least for now.
Remember… winning is defined only by your personal pursuit of excellence. Whatever that may be for you.
The win itself doesn’t matter a whole lot
It’s not so much the winning or the losing that matters. It’s all about how you take it.
If you’ve been reading the site for a while now you probably notice a common theme. It’s in just about all my posts whether they are about nutrition, fitness, philosophy, or psychology.
We make ourselves happy, miserable, excited, passionate, invincible, you name it – by the thoughts in our head. Yup, that’s right. You get to decide every single day how you want to feel. How else do you explain how people can turn tragedy and hopelessness into challenges they overcome?
The funny thing is it that perseverance and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds is the quality we seem to most admire in others and wish for ourselves. Even funnier is the fact that we already have the ability to overcome anything we want. We just have to believe we can do it.
So whether it is Brett Favre throwing for 399 yards and four touchdowns the day after his father’s death or you taking on the challenge of improving your health and wellness by committing to the education and practice of eating right and exercising, it is the perseverance and commitment to take a few jabs in the face in order to deliver a knock out blow in the later rounds.
Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time -Ong Mandino
When life gives you lemons take it as an opportunity to say thanks. Thank the universe for this opportunity to learn and improve on the skills that are needed to achieve your goal.
A great way to keep yourself in the necessary mindset that is needed in order to persevere is to journal about your week. Ask yourself the following questions.
What went right this week?
What am I proud of this week?
Where did things not go as planned?
What can I do to make sure they go as planned this upcoming week?
Make sure your goals are your goals
Is the direction your headed even the direction you want to go? Make sure your goals, dreams, and ambitions are aligned with who you are as a person. It’s easy to get caught up in living our lives for other people. It’s natural to want to make everyone else around us happen but not natural to do it at the expense of ourselves.
When it comes to winning and losing are those wins and losses based on your goals or someone else’s?
With that said, it’s important to keep your eyes and ears open for feedback and signals that allow you to learn, build momentum, and improve. Those signals might come from others.
Stress, stress, stress
The ability to consistently be a winner has a lot to do with your ability to deal with stress. Stress is often one of our most ferocious opponents. It can physical, mentally, and spiritually drain us and wear us down until we feel like we have nothing left to give.
To beat stress you have to treat it as normal. None of us will ever be stress free. It’s naive to think Richard Branson, Tom Brady, or your seemingly perfect neighbor live the perfect life with no stress. All of us have it and will always have it.
Stress often comes in two forms.
1. The good stress: Good stress is that anxiety you feel when you are doing something you really care about and is aligned with your true virtues in life. Often expressed and felt as butterflies in the stomach, goose-bumps, sometimes tears.
2. The bad stress: Bad stress is often felt as pain. Now the word pain might automatically bring about thoughts of something you don’t want but this is how stress gets the best of you. If that S.O.B stress is able to convince you that this pain is something bad than it will win. However, if you can flip it and realize that pain is only a sign that we need to change something whether it be our diet, job, relationships, or even thoughts than you win.
A few ways stress tries to beat us:
Time: Stress tries to convince us that things are not happening fast enough. Losing ten pounds this month, having an established career by 30, or a 401K that is ready for retirement have no time-table. Whether you lose those ten pounds this month or in three months you’ll be just as excited and stoked for yourself.
For those things that do have strict time tables like a work project, remember that it’s on you to practice time management skills that lead to success. A great resource is the late great Stephen Covey’s time management matrix. Take a look at what’s going on in your life now and get organized. What’s urgent, important, not urgent, and not important? Make sure to click that link above for a detailed explanation.
Not doing that which is most important to you: If you are consistently doing things are have no real meaning or level of importance to you there is a good chance you’ll stress yourself out. How the hell can you do what you really want to if you are always doing the things that you don’t?
Decide what you want and focus on the behaviors that are necessary to get you there.
Playing the blame game
Stress tries its damnedest to convince you that the things going wrong in your life are everyone else’s fault and have nothing to do with you.
You can’t stay on your nutrition plan because of all the family outings and bad food that is there.
You can’t exercise because work is always asking you to stay late and you’re just to tired.
Accept responsibility, stop playing the victim, and go dominate some sh*t. Your decisions might not be aligned with everyone else’s virtues but they will be aligned with yours and that’s what’s important. So at those family outings bring your own food, ask for some healthier options, or eat before and just enjoy the company. You have options. Use them.
It’s funny that the ability to overcome stress and struggle is often the most memorable experiences we have. So lets start doing more of that.
Most people spend more time planning a party, studying newspapers, or making a christmas list, than they do their own life.
Maybe it’s time to define what is most important to us and start planning those things. Our health, relationships, our passions. Maybe they’re different for you. Whatever they are… define them.
What do you want? Be specific. Tackle one thing at a time.
That will lead you to the ultimate win.
Any big wins this week? Month? Year? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.
For the win!