LIFE IS a race. It is a fierce competition where only the fittest survives. That might sound a little too existentialist, or too Darwinian, but don’t get me wrong. I believe that it is a succinct description of our world today: adapt or go extinct. Winning is not about beating others; it is about deserving the gift of life and happiness.
How can one win in life? Can we achieve success by getting in the way of others? Do we have to spend all our time working towards our goals, and, in our struggles to make our future brighter, forget to live the present?
There is not one surefire formula for success, but attitude is one important ingredient. Having the right attitude may not ensure success, but it will surely take you further in the race.
Here are five of the things that I have learned about winning in life. I live by these principles and I hope that my students can also take a look at these and see if they can, by adopting these attitudes, live a more meaningful life.
- Winners are masters of themselves. They say that our greatest adversary is ourselves. If we cannot conquer ourselves, how can we conquer the world? I have always believed that self-awareness is very important. Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living. We have to be aware of ourselves—our capabilities and our limitations. A winner continues to seek deeper within himself and turns his weaknesses into strength, his fears into confidence.
- Winners keep an eye on the goal. Winners are dreamers, and when they dream, they dream big. They have a clear picture of what they want to become, what they want to have, and what they want to do. They live life in all its fullness–they have fun, they gain friends, they go to places–but they never forget their real destination. They are mindful of their responsibilities amidst distractions and their every action leads to the accomplishment of their duties and attainment of their objectives. Most importantly, they never give up.
- Winners are not afraid to challenge norms. Winners are aware of the norms. They follow the rules, but they also know when to break them. Sometimes, the norms can restrain us from becoming what we can be. Sometimes people are so prejudiced and they would tell us we can’t do it. A winner knows when to listen to others and when to disregard them. He doesn’t allow people to put him in a box. A winner also knows how to push his limits. He gives more that what other people think he can. He exceeds expectations. He doesn’t do things as others would; he always does better and works harder to be the best.
- Winners work well with others. Winners believe in teamwork. They share their talents for the good of the majority. A winner respects everyone. He even regards his adversaries as friends. The Bible tells us to love our enemies. Who knows they can help us succeed? He acknowledges the uniqueness of everyone and believes that others are also capable of what he can do. He recognizes other people’s talents and abilities. He does not step on others nor use them for his personal gains. A real winner doesn’t beat others; he helps other people succeed.
- Winners handle triumphs and failures very well. A real winner cannot distinguish between triumphs and failures. It is always a winning moment for them. Whether he wins or fails, he never stops dreaming. Life does not end after one success or failure. When he fails, he continues to improve himself. If he wins, he remains humble and gets ready for the next challenges. When he is beaten in a competition, he takes it as success for his competitor and he still celebrates in their success. When a wins a competition, he doesn’t look down on his competitors. In fact, he soars up because he never looks down.
I dedicate this post to all our students who are competing in the upcoming Division Integrated Competitions in Glan, Sarangani Province on October 6-10, 2011.
This is also for everyone who wants to be a winner in life.