How to ‘Be a Winner!’: The ‘Truth’ About Winning and Losing
How to ‘Be a Winner!’
(The ‘Truth’ About Winning and Losing)
It is never too early to learn the ‘Truth’ about winning and losing.
Sadly, there are some people out there who really believe that ‘winning’ is all that matters in life. They are not only mistaken, they are also confusing ‘winning’ with ‘being a winner,’ and those are two very different things! If you confuse winning or losing a game, or other competition, with being a ‘Winner’ or being a ‘Loser,’ then you are committing a serious error that can lead to a false, negative, self-image and other ‘self-defeating’ behaviors. It is best to avoid entirely using such labels about one’s self or others. But it is important to know the ‘truth’ and to really understand what it really means to ‘be a winner.’
‘Winning’ or ‘losing,’ whether it is at sports, a game of skill, or a game of chance, is simply a one-time event, or ‘result.’ In chess every completed game produces a result. Either one player wins and the other loses, or the game is drawn (a tie).
However, ‘being a Winner’ or a ‘Loser’ is much more! It is a personal ‘attitude’ towards life and, even more importantly, it is entirely a matter of your personal ‘choice!’ It is such an important choice that I am always surprised by how many people are unaware that they even have the choice. Even some parents, teachers and coaches suffer from the confusion of ‘external’ events and ‘results’ with ‘internal’ character traits. Unfortunately, this allows them to aid in the ‘labeling’ of children as ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ when their job should be to teach them how to make proper choices. This is most often because they, too, have been taught this ‘erroneous thinking.’ Even though it is incorrect, they often actually believe that ‘winning’ makes you a ‘Winner’ and ‘losing’ makes you a ‘Loser.’
The ‘Truth’ about ‘winning and losing’ is actually very simple and may be summed up this way:
“It is not whether you win or lose that makes you a ‘Winner,’ but what you ‘choose’ to do with that result.”
A ‘Winner’ is one who chooses to accept responsibility for his (or her) actions and results.
A ‘Winner’ chooses to direct his own progress as much as he can.
A ‘Winner’ chooses to use his results as a foundation for further learning and growth.
A ‘Winner’ seeks to identify his mistakes and properly views them as lessons to be mastered.
A ‘Winner’ understands that there may be periods of slow progress but that, with persistence, they always pass.
A ‘Winner’ understands that if he keeps learning, and seeking to improve his skill, then he will become a ‘stronger’ player even though he will lose many games along the way. In, fact, a ‘winner’ comes to appreciate that the losses may actually offer the greatest opportunity for personal growth and improvement.
‘Losers,’ on the other hand, ‘choose’ not to accept responsibility for their results or for directing their own progress. They do not seek to identify errors and, therefore, rarely learn from them. They eventually give up in frustration and quit due to the false perceptions that “everyone else is better” and that they are a ‘failure.’
To recap... The ‘Truth’ that you should always keep in mind is that being a ‘Winner’ or a ‘Loser’ is entirely a matter of ‘personal choice’ and attitude. This is true in life, as well as in chess. Being a Winner or a Loser is never tied to ‘external’ events or results, but is always a matter of ‘internal’ choices and decisions. When you understand this it becomes much easier to ‘choose to be a Winner.’ This lesson is at the heart of my teaching.