The great golfer, Arnold Palmer, is the source of some terrific quotes. Two of my favorites are: “Winning isn’t everything, but wanting it is;” and “I never quit trying. I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.”
Think about the message in those quotes. Indeed, winning isn’t everything. In most endeavors there can be only one winner, and nobody wins at everything s/he tries. But the fact that you may not win should not stop you from doing your best – and not dismissing the possibility that your best may actually be good enough to enable you to win.
In my e-book, “What Can Go Right?” I introduced the concept of Personal Victories. Much of life consists of setting goals that are meaningful to us. When we achieve them, we are a winner. Those goals may involve child rearing or doing a job the best we can or easing the pain of others by volunteering or learning a new skill or being the best family member and role model that we can be.
In order to achieve personal victories, we are often competing against ourselves. If we define our goals as things that we can win, we can develop the attitude of not quitting trying and never feeling that we don’t have a chance to win.
I don’t consider myself lucky that I have a loving relationship with my wife or that our sons continue to include us in their lives or that I’m able to be active in my career long after some of my contemporaries retired. I tried to make those things happen and I won.
The successful winning of personal victories helps to build the attitude and courage to compete against others – recreationally, socially, and in the world of work. Once you have a winning attitude, it leads to proactive behavior that enables you to gain from the experience of competing against yourself or others – whether you win or not.