Winners look for chances to excel

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson

Recently I was chatting with a friend who I think leads a balanced life.

She shared that life was great, so I asked her why she thought she was enjoying so much success. She began by saying she had taken the time to define what success means to her.

She also said she feels success and failure are temporary in nature.

I have found this to be true with many of the winners I know. They seem to have a lot more successes than failures in most areas of their lives. They make lemonade out of lemons. Their success looks easy.

As I’ve talked with successful people, I’ve learned the truth is they work harder than most people, but they also work smarter. Here are three common traits I consistently notices about people winning at the game of life:

“Never stop learning because life never stops teaching” – Unknown.

Losers think they know everything. Winners recognize they know very little.

I have done leadership training with groups of all sizes. I often ask if anyone has questions. People often avoid asking a question for fear of appearing stupid. However, research shows that people who ask well thought out questions are seen as stronger leaders than people who pretend to have the answers.

The real problem with ignorance is not the lack of knowledge or education but lack of curiosity. Curiosity is the component that causes us to question problems, processes, decisions and solutions. This drives us to become more successful leaders.

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you” – John Wooden.

Winners surround themselves with smart, successful people, and they continually ask questions. They understand that if they are going to get better, smarter, healthier, wealthier and build better relationships, they need to engage with people who raise them up.

Surrounding yourself with winners is the first step to having your own success.

Recently, I was talking with a group of managers. One was sharing how little time he had to read books that would improve his life. He wished he had more time so he could become a better manager, get the promotion he wanted and buy a bigger home for his family – all good goals.

As we were leaving the meeting, his buddies who were content where they were in life talked him into going out for beers and watching a football game. He goes out with his friends twice a week for four hours each night. If this manager wants to truly move up in life, here are 32 hours each month he could spend improving himself.

If you want to soar with eagles, you can’t hang out with a bunch of turkeys. (Not that his friends are turkeys – they just might not be heading in the same direction in life.)

“Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else” – Vince Lombardi.

Winners realize that success is temporary. Therefore, they must always be filling the pipeline with their next potential successes so that when failures happen — and they will — there are plenty of future successes on the horizon.

A mentor once told me that multiple opportunities can lead to multiple successes. Many people put all their eggs in one basket. If things go well they have some success, if not, they have a failure. However, lots of opportunities can take the sting out of a few failures along the way.

Winners also realize that failures are part of success. If you are not experiencing some failures, you are not trying hard enough. Successful leaders brush themselves off and move on. They remember the lesson learned, but they are not hindered by the setback.

If you want to win in life and be successful, remember to continue learning. Ask the questions that no one else is asking. Surround yourself with successful people.

Finally, remember failure and success are temporary. Continually fill the funnel with opportunities to succeed in all areas of life no matter how you define success.


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