Winning is a Necessity

Winning is extremely important to the human psyche and biology.  The people who get what they want in life know how to win.  This can not be overlooked or overstated.

I believe the people who know how to win are likely happier in pursuit of their life goals.  I think most would agree with this statement.  So then, why is it most people don’t know how to win?  Or better yet, why isn’t the art of winning taught more in schools and post graduate education?  Maybe it is, we’re just not paying attention?


I’m not sure, maybe we should ask Charlie Sheen.  Sadly, I don’t think answers like Tiger Blood, or Adonis DNA are what we’re looking for so we’ll have to dig a little deeper.  Thanks for the inspiration Chuck.

Lets first take a look at what a “WIN” does for us mentally

  • Confidence – think about the last time you won anything and try to get back into those feelings for a moment.  How did you feel?  Awesome is a pretty popular response.  Who doesn’t want to feel more awesome?  Winning is foundational to a higher level of confidence.  More confidence typically yields more victory.
  • Winning Effect – Author John Coats in his book The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind tells us animals involved in a fight who were victorious, were more likely to win their next fight.  Which brings me to my next and extremely important point.
  • Momentum – I always say, “Momentum is much easier to steer than to start.”  Life can be hard.  Some know this more than others.  This is exactly why winning, and winning often is so important to each of us.  Winning consistently creates what I call “life momentum.”
  • Limitless – Have you ever won enough? I know I haven’t.  Author Grant Cardone describes this in his book The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by stating, “There is no shortage of success, nor are there limits to the amount of success one can achieve!”  Read this again if you’re looking to get amp’d up.  He’s right.  I frequently listen to the 10X Audiobook when I need to get it going or feel like I’ve achieved “enough” for a while.
  • Attitude – People like to associate with a winner.  It’s more fun, it’s positive, and it’s likely uplifting.  Legendary coach Bear Bryan said, “Winning isn’t everything, but it sure beats anything that comes in second!”  I LOVE THAT ATTITUDE.

I won’t go there in this post, but if you do a little more research you’ll easily see that winning doesn’t only affect our mental game but our biological makeup as well.  Dr. Coats offers a unique perspective into the testosterone levels of successful, young, male stock traders during times of financial boom.

The million dollar question remains, “How do I win more often?”

  1. Stay Hungry – Winners come from all walks of life.  What they all have in common is an unquenchable thirst for victory and nothing will stop them in their pursuit.
  2. Stay Focused – Elite athletes have a state of mind referred to as “the zone” and when they’re in it nothing can stop them.  The zone is a state of complete focus and freedom.  Mastery is at work with the athlete because they’re not spending time thinking, they’re only reacting to what’s in front of them.
  3. Attention to Detail – The US Navy SEALs are famous for their mindset and training regimen.  Their world class team members preach attention to detail every day, in every drill, and every exercise they compete.
  4. Drill – In order to learn how to win an individual must be willing to practice at a high level for a great deal of time.  Mediocre practice will yield mediocre results.  Winners sweat the small stuff and sweat if often.  Earlier I used the word “mastery” when referring to focus in point two.  In Malcolm Gladwells book Outliers he states it takes 10,000 hours to be an “expert” in a topic or field.  10,000 hours.  Most people work around 40 hours per week.  That equates to nearly 5 years of drills.  Are you spending 8 hours a day getting better?  I know I’m not, so for most it’s going to take 10+ years to mastery.
  5. Speed Bumps – Failure will happen and it should if you’re taking chances.  Accept failure as a speed bump and not a impassable chasm.  Life will go on.  Learn from it and learn quickly so you can get back to winning again.  Just don’t fail making the same mistake over and over.


 ACTION ITEM: Get out and get winning.  You need to be winning often.  Life is a contact sport and no records were set from the sidelines.




The Pastor and Paterno

Paterno 816_0I had to write this returning home from church today.

First off, I’m not going to “bible beat” you or stand on a pedestal and preach.  My flaws are far too long to list in one blog post.  If you want to go to church then go.  If you don’t, then stay at home.  What I’d like to share with you today however was a lesson in learning.

Oddly enough, it had nothing to do with the sermon.  I got to thinking about the role of a pastor in the church and the work of delivering a sermon every Sunday.  Every Sunday from the same book this pastor or one of his peers helps us try to learn and understand more from only one book.  The Bible.

Every lesson, every week, every day is devoted to the work from this one book.  How many of us have the patience or persistence to continue learning from one book the rest of our lives?  Maybe this is a little too deep, so as my mind was wandering I tried to relate it to something else.

Football.  Yes, football is like the church and a coach is the pastor.  Now I’ve gone completely nuts!

Not sure why, but I immediately thought of Joe Paterno.  Controversial figure in the last few years, but I found Joe was a great lesson in the devotion a pastor displays.  Joe coached football for five decades at Penn State.  One school, one game, one focus.  Sure the rules changed over the years, and the players changed, but he was still coaching football every day.

The most interesting takeaway I came up with is that in each of these two scenarios (the pastor and Paterno) each was devoted to not only their craft, but a lifetime of learning.  People change, what’s socially acceptable to preach about changes, technology is evolving us all, but their core teachings remain laser focused.  Every single day they were going to get a little better.  Every day they were going to learn something new about their team, their staff, or the game/mission they were teaching.

I look back at my career in marketing and advertising and I’ve invested 10+ years in the process.  Author Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers: The Story of Success it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field of study.  I’ve included links here for you if you’re interested.  

Do the math, it’s 20 hours a week for 50 weeks a year for 10 years.  I believe I’ve put in this measure of time, but when looking at the pastor and Paterno there is so much more to be learned in the next 40,000 hours.

ACTION ITEM: My challenge like most of you reading this is to remain passionate about what I’m doing and to continue learning every day like the pastor and coach Paterno.  It takes two things to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.  Persistent pressure and time.