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Define What Winning Means for You

“Many people run the races where every participator receives a trophy, leaders run to win.”
Chad Reyes

When I was in my twenties, I ran a mile or two every day; I entered races to compete with myself, improving my personal best. I didn’t run to win the race since being the best runner wasn’t my objective.

I admired the drive and dedication of those competing to win. What separates the winners from the rest is their motive behind running. For the leaders it isn’t about finishing the race; it's about who crosses the finish line first.

It's not that I couldn’t compete to be in the running to win those races; it was that I enjoyed the run itself, whether alone or in a race. People run for different reasons, the same is true in life.

Some people pursue leadership for power or prestige, others to prove to themselves they can do it. And others because they have something to give that adds value to others.


“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”
John Wooden

I’m speaking about your purpose in life; some pursue the wins, others enjoy the race, and others are just trying to make a living. I define success as functioning in your purpose and doing it well. The promotions will come later.

Using your gifts and talents to help others always benefits you in the end. Isn’t it interesting that we find ourselves when we lose ourselves in the service of others…? That’s how I define winning.

This seems counterintuitive to many people who have yet to define winning as that which benefits others. I’ve learned that in the end success isn’t about me at all, since the pursuit of significance is about benefiting others.

In his book “How Successful People Win,” John Maxwell emphasizes that more consistent wins come from learning from our losses. John writes, “If that is your desire—to become a learner from losses—you need to change the way you look at losses, cultivate qualities that help you respond to them, and develop the ability to learn from them. I believe you can do that using this road map:

Cultivate Humility: The Spirit of Learning

Face Reality: The Foundation of Learning

Accept Responsibility: The First Step of Learning

Seek Improvement: The Focus of Learning

Nurture Hope: The Motivation of Learning

Develop Teachability: The Pathway of Learning

Overcome Adversity: The Catalyst for Learning

Expect Problems: Opportunities for Learning

Understand Bad Experiences: The Perspective for Learning

Embrace Change: The Price of Learning

Benefit from Maturity: The Value of Learning

That’s how successful people win!” (1)


So, how would you define your win?

In Closing,

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before.”
Bonnie Blair


End Notes

(1) How Successful People Win by John C. Maxwell

*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***

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