Are You Born to Win?

Whenever I hear someone described as a born winner I always wonder what the person described as “the born winner” thinks. They very well may have been born with some advantages, a “leg up” if you will. Wealthy parents, a good environment, good role models in their life are some that come to mind but I believe this much is certain; they were not born winners. They worked, probably very hard, to become a winner. Even people born with advantages can “lazy” the advantages away if they refuse to work to maximize them.

     

People who win have invariably formed the habits of doing the things that people who don’t win simply don’t like to do. Winners don’t necessary like to do them either but they do them anyway. They do them to win!

     

Winners make better choices; sometimes the choices are hard to make but they make them anyway. People who don’t win often make only the easy choices or worse yet they make no choice at all, simply allowing the winds of chance to determine the outcome of their lives.

     

Winners know that every choice and decision produces some kind of result so they seek the guidance of a coach or a mentor when making big decisions. They don’t make decisions when there is a chance that their emotions may affect the quality of the decision. People who can’t seem to win are almost unaware of the significance of their choices and too often believe that “their station in life” affords them no real choices. It’s what a lot of people would call a losing mentality.

     

People who win take risks. Not crazy risks, but well thought-out calculated risks. People who seldom win believe they can play it safe and still win. That may have been true at one time but it’s absolutely not true in today’s world. The truth today is that never taking a risk is about the riskiest thing you can do. 

     

Winners have goals. Real goals, the kind that are written down with a detailed plan on how to achieve them. They do not think in terms of “if I can” they think in terms of “how will I.” People who seldom win have dreams, wonderful dreams that way too often begin with the phrase “if only”.

     

Winners work to make a difference in the world around them. They care about much more than themselves. They think long term and plan ahead, they know that a set-back is not the end of the world, it is just the beginning of the next success. People who seldom win work simply to pay the bills.

     

Winners live today while preparing for tomorrow, they learn from yesterday but refuse to live there. People who don’t win too often seem to be talking about the good old days. Winners know the best days haven’t happened yet.

     

Winners always do everything they can to control their attitude. They shun people who might bring their attitude down. (Yes, they will try to positively impact other people’s attitude but not at the risk of their own.) They don’t let other people and things set the altitude at which they operate, they maintain control of the precious resource of a positive attitude no matter what. The decision to maintain a positive attitude is the first decision winners make each day and it’s often their most important decision of the day.

     

People who struggle to win also struggle to control their attitude and there is no coincidence there – it is nearly impossible to win once you tell yourself you can’t.

     

Winners don’t worry about “having” luck because they’re too busy “making” their luck. The make their luck while developing their plan for success, they make their luck in the course of doing the “little extra” stuff that they do on a very consistent basis.  The people who don’t often win do what their job description says to do and little more.

     

Winners know that doing a “little extra” than required puts them way ahead of the group who only does “little more” than required.

     

Now here is the best part… everything that winners do can be done by anyone. These are simply (yes, I know, simple to say, hard to do) choices available to anyone willing to make a commitment to win.


So the question isn’t whether or not you’re a born winner. The question is will you decide to be a winner today?


Success is Not Required

So…lots of people will disagree with this but I believe that success is not required of anyone. I also believe that everyone has an opportunity to succeed. That last part there, the part about opportunity, that’s the part that not everyone will agree with.

I understand why, I mean knowing that you actually do have the opportunity to succeed has been known to put pressure on people to try and leverage that opportunity. To a whole lotta people that just looks like too much work.

So instead, they simply say that they don’t have the chance to succeed. 

Let’s talk about those opportunities for a minute. We should all be clear that not every opportunity is created equal. Some people have far more and far better opportunities than others. Depending on where you were born, depending in some cases on when you were born, and sadly, very sadly, even depending all too often on the color of your skin, your opportunities can vary greatly. (yes, I know there are more factors that can come into play but this isn’t intended to be a complete list)

Here’s what all successful people know; regardless of circumstances, regardless of any obstacles, regardless of anything someone else may do to try to stop you, if you want success enough, you can have it.

Hard work, smart work, good planning, and desire can overcome almost ANY circumstance or obstacle. Yes, there are places on this earth where the challenges can make even basic success nearly impossible but “nearly impossible” is not impossible. I should also point out that if you’re reading this you’re not likely reading it from one of those places.

If you’re sitting in Texas, or London, or Rio, or Tokyo and you’re saying “well, what about the people in Syria, (or pick your own place or people) see, not everyone can succeed,” as an excuse for your own lack of success then I have to tell you that’s just an excuse for you not to try and it’s a pretty lame excuse at that.

You have to decide if you’re going to let chance, circumstances, past history and the opinions of others prevent you from achieving the success that is available to you. You also have to decide exactly what success means to you. 

Success is very personal, my success and your success are likely are least somewhat different. You don’t have to do what others expect of you to consider yourself a success but you do have to be honest with yourself. Sitting around wasting your talent and abilities could be someone’s definition of success but most people wouldn’t think it was a good one.

Complaining about what you can’t do has the ability to prevent you from doing what you can do so stop complaining about what isn’t and create what will be…you know you can do it!

There is no requirement that anyone succeed at anything but everyone should know that success is within their reach if they are willing to actually reach for it. YOU are a part of that “everyone” and now that you know you can succeed you have a choice to make. I hope you make it a good one.

The Importance of Decision Making

Successful people make good decisions. “Lucky” people make good decisions. The people you admire make good decisions. Good results are the product of good decisions.

I could make a strong case that everything “good” comes about as a result of good decisions. Perhaps some people could argue that not “everything” good comes from decisions but this much is certain; the quality of a person’s life is directed affected by the quality of their decisions.

Way too many people are virtually unaware of just how many decisions they make each day. You decide, yes YOU decide, who you hang around with, what you watch and listen to, who you believe, where your information comes from, when to go to bed, how much alcohol to drink, what to eat….all of those things are decisions. 

You even decide whether or not you will have a positive attitude. Yes, even your attitude is ultimately your decision and it is likely the biggest decision you make each day.

Perhaps you think you don’t need to make decisions in those areas, maybe you’re a “go with the flow” kinda person and you just let the people and circumstances around you “decide” for you. If that’s the case you should know that letting “others” decide for you often has the impact of making you less successful than you could be.

It’s great to ask others for advice and I strongly encourage people to have a mentor for that very reason but for decisions affecting you personally YOU should be making the final decision. 

You need to make your own decisions because ultimately it’s the decisions you make that make you who you are. There are outcomes, results, and consequences, both positive and negative, to every decision. Everything you say, do, and even think plays a role in determining who you really are. It’s worth investing a moment or two in deciding what’s best for you.

Some decisions will be harder than others. Some may be excruciatingly difficult. When you don’t know what to do just do the next right thing… the next right thing doesn’t have to be a big thing, baby steps are okay, just keep moving towards being the person you want to be. 

Your life is collectively made from all the decisions you make and don’t make. Work hard to make the decisions that give you the life you want. You’ll find that those decisions work just as hard for you!

Understanding Success – Part Three

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the third post of a who knows how long series of those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. This series is getting longer by the minute and it could turn out to be as many as six or eight posts.

Just because successful people think they can do “it” that doesn’t mean they think they have to do it alone. Successful people are not afraid to ask for help when help is required.

That said, it should also be noted that successful people understand the difference between a hand up and a handout. They may ask for help in order to succeed but they don’t expect anyone else to make them a success. 

They have their support network lined up before they need it and they know that a great place to find that help is with their mentor, coach or anyone who cares about them. It may also be with an already successful person or maybe they just have to do research themselves to find the answers they need to succeed. 

Whatever the case, they don’t just wait around hoping someone gives them what successful people earn. They expect to have to work to get what they want and work is what they do. They control their destiny by controlling their thoughts, words, behavior and actions. 

If you are truly seeking success then feel free to raise your hand to ask for help, just don’t put your hand out and hope success will magically land in it.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the legendary comedian Bob Hope, he said “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.” Of course he steered himself into a position to succeed, that’s what successful people do.

All truly successful people will accept a good break now and then but more often than not, their “break” came as a result of hard work over a substantial period of time. They put themselves in a position where success was possible. 

Focus on what YOU need to do to put yourself in a position to succeed… and then do it.

Understanding Success – Part Two

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the second post of a who knows how long series of those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. The series will be at least a few posts, maybe as many as six. 

Once successful people have made the choice of a positive attitude it makes it much easier to understand the difference between “I can’t” and “I won’t.” Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Mr. Ford obviously knew something about what it takes to succeed. 

He also knew about the unbelievably destructive nature of thinking that you can’t. It’s really not possible to simply talk your way to success but it’s pretty common for people to talk their way out of it.

Do you talk to yourself? You just proved that you do when you asked yourself that question. Talking to yourself isn’t bad but negative self-talk kills dreams so be VERY careful about what you say to yourself. 

Every time you say “I can’t” you willingly give up a measure of control by telling yourself and others that you are willing to surrender your success. They more often that you say “I can’t” the more likely it becomes that you won’t. 

It’s perfectly fine if you willingly choose not to do something, just be certain that “I won’t” is a conscious choice and that you’re not unconsciously forcing it upon yourself by repeating “I can’t” over and over. 

Successful people find a way to say, and think, “I can.”

Remember, pretty much everything that’s ever been done was at one time thought impossible yet it was eventually done by someone who said “I can” and they quickly followed it up with a big “I WILL.” 

Nothing is truly impossible until every person on the planet agrees that it’s impossible. Never agree that anything is impossible…. be the one who proves it isn’t.

One more thing….be certain that your “won’t” isn’t simply coming from the fact that you don’t like doing something because here is one thing that nearly all successful people have in common: successful people have developed the habits of doing things that less successful people simply don’t like to do. 

Focus on the fact that YOU CAN!

Understanding Success – Part One

Successful people get it. They simply understand some things that less successful people seem to have a hard time grasping. The things they understand are the “it’s” of success. 

This is the initial post of a who knows how long series on those “it’s.” They will be short posts, each just long enough to give you time to focus on one “it” of success until the next post arrives. The series will be at least a few posts, maybe as many as six. 

First and foremost successful people understand the role that attitude plays in their success. They awake each day with the same choice to make as everyone else in the world and the choice they make is to have a positive attitude. It’s not that less successful people choose a negative attitude, they simply make no choice at all and allow the nattering nabobs of negativism to choose their attitude for them. 

If you want success and happiness in your life (by the way, each of our definitions of success may vary but I personally believe that if you’re not happy then you’re not successful) then begin each day by making the choice of a positive attitude. No matter what else is going on in your life it’s your attitude that is the one choice that no one can ever take from you.

Never doubt for a moment this absolute fact of success: Your attitude is a choice and it’s yours and yours alone to make.

By the way, just a thought here: if you’re a leader who desires to have a positive impact on your people then you should know that it’s pretty tough to have a positive impact on others unless you first have a positive impact on yourself.

Focus on your attitude.

 

Are You a Success?

Let’s begin with my personal definition of success, or rather, what success is not.

Success is not only about money. If fact, money is a very poor measure of success. It measures monetary wealth, no more, no less. Many wealthy people are not successful people; they may have succeeded in one part of life but in other parts they are nearly complete failures.

Money doesn’t make you rich either, at least not in the way that I define “rich”. To be rich you must have true friends. Not work acquaintances, not guys from the bowling team, not people you see at church on Sunday, real friends. The kind you can count on no matter what. When have have two or three friends who will never let you down, who will always be there for you, well then you are truly rich.

My actual definition of success is pretty easy. Success is having a choice; the more choices you have the more successful you are. The choice of where you work, and who you work with. The choice of where you live, what kind of car you drive and who you spend your time with.

With that definition there are a whole lot of successful people walking around who have no idea just how successful they are. They may “want” to drive a BMW but can’t afford it, still they have the choice of dozens of car models to choose from. There are many people without that choice.

A lot of people would say they have no choice but to work where they do. The fact is they were looking for a job when they found the one they have. To work somewhere else they simply need to make the choice to look again, it may be a long search but the sooner it begins the sooner it ends.

Have I made it sound easy to succeed? Well it’s not! It’s hard work to manufacture the ability to choose. Successful people don’t just work harder than less successful people, they work much, much, much harder. They also have goals and a written plan on how they will achieve them.

Successful people have made the effort to earn themselves extra choices.

I say “extra” because everyone, yes everyone, begins with the same choices. We begin life with so many choices I couldn’t mention them all. As we grow and can actually begin to start making choices some people seem to forget they ever had a choice. But even today you still have choices. The choice to learn, the choice to try, or not, the choice to decide how much worry something is worth. The choice to forgive, the choice to see the good in other people and most importantly, the choice of a positive attitude.

No matter what is happening around you no one can steal from you the precious gift of a positive attitude ….. unless you let them. You have a choice to make each day, you can choose to be negative or you can choose to be positive. By and large, the most successful people choose positive.

You can too. When you make the choice each day to have a positive attitude you’ll suddenly find yourself with a whole lot of other choices you didn’t realize you had.

So, what’s your choice?