Inspiration Lane

The Winning Mindset

Are you unhappy when others are succeeding? Does your success seem dependent on someone else’s failure? “Keeping up with the Joneses” is an expression that is commonly used to describe the attitude of always wanting to keep up with the neighbours in terms of possessions and wanting to have the things that our neighbours have.

Throughout our childhood and most of our adult life, competition is the order of the day. Right from our school days we are taught that our self worth is measured in relation to other people.

At school, our grading system gives you a position at the end of the term. If you come first that means you are the best in your class. If you are 25th position that means there are 24 other kids that are better than you are. So if you want to be first and “win” you must make sure that all the other kids “lose” and come second or more.

This carries on through life. The boss must ensure that he does not allow his juniors to get too much knowledge or qualifications if he is to keep his number one spot as the boss in the company. In fact, at times he must deliberately frustrate any efforts by his subordinates to progress.

Even amongst friends and relatives this occurs. Sibling rivalry does not always end when children grow up. A lot of times it continues. The success of one child in adulthood is measured against the success of another. It seems whatever we have achieved seems insignificant when compared to the achievement of someone else.

In life there are three basics mindsets that people tend to have. These are the win/lose mentality, the lose/lose mentality and the win/win mentality.

People with a win/lose mentality would be those that compare themselves to other people all the time. They believe that in order for them to succeed others must fail. To them, success is relative.

Those with a lose/lose mentality believe that they can never achieve anything worthwhile so why should they let you do so. They try to keep other people in the sinking boat that they are in. Negativity is the order of the day for them. Don’t ever try to tell such people that you have great plans for your life – they will only criticize you and tell you it can’t be done. After all, they tried that already and it did not work!

Dreamers, who are achievers, have the win/win mentality. Not only do they know that they are capable of and will succeed, but they realise that their success does not depend on other people’s failure. To the contrary, their success depends on other people’s success.

If you are to succeed in life and become the person you are meant to be, then you must know that you will not get there alone. Therefore you must help others to succeed and to become great if you are to be great yourself. It is often said that the greatest people are always those that help others.

Learn to be happy about others’ success and look forward to your own success. Do not judge yourself based on what others have achieved, but rather based on what you want to achieve. Depending on what you want in life, their success could be failure to you or vice versa, but it should not matter to you either way.

Life is not a race against other people. It is a one man race. You determine the destination, the route, the time limits and the prize. We are all running a different race. How do you compete with someone that is not on the same track as you are?

Envy and jealousy are habits you must always be weary of and stay clear of. Like other bad habits they will only rob you of your energy, creativity, drive, clarity of mind and enthusiasm for life.

Stephen R. Covey, in discussing this subject states: “Win/win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others…It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.”

You are who you can be. Be the best you possible!


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