Be a winner today…

May 26, 2021

“Winning doesn’t always mean being first.  Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve ever done before.”  (Bonnie Blair) – from the post to the blog  Jack’s Winning Words for May 26,2021. Jack went on to write – While speed skater Blair was an Olympic medal winner, her focus was on something other than the gold. While she’s proud of her medals, she concentrates on improving herself rather than on beating others. Life would go better for many of us if we’d focus on “self-improving,” rather than on what others are doing.

We have unfortunately become a society fixated on the concept of winners and losers. In order to be a winner, it seems, someone else must lose – you must beat someone or be better than them at something. There are very few focused upon creating win-win scenarios, where everyone is a winner and there are no losers required. The Special Olympics is one organization that focuses upon everyone who competes being a winner. Support the Special Olympics in your area. Be a winner.

Our political scene has become such a dysfunctional mess because the politicians’ ability to find compromises where everyone feels like they won has been lost. Politics has become a knock-down winner-loser contest with jaws set and compromise out of the question. Don’t let yourself get dragged into that morass. Be a winner.

Racism is to a large extent driven by that same winner-loser mentality, augmented by unjustified fears. The winner-loser proposition grew out of the owner-slave origin of the relationship between whites and blacks and evolved into a greater-lesser proposition over time – a winner-loser position. Don’t go there. Be a winner.

The key message in Blairs quote is focusing upon doing better as a person than you have done in the past – on being the best you that you can be. Be a winner.  

Thinking of yourself as a winner begins by accepting yourself. I’ve posted here a few times that you must accept and love yourself before you can love others. Loving yourself can begin by accepting the love of God. If you believe that God accepts and loves you just as you are, you give yourself permission to also love who you are. That is not to say that you can’t be an even better person, just that you don’t have to beat yourself up for past mistakes – God has forgiven you, so forgive yourself and move on. Be a winner.  

Thinking of yourself as a winner, albeit a winner who may still have room for improvement, puts you in a positive frame of mind. Combining that with the thought that winning doesn’t mean that you have to go out looking for other to beat allows you to see the win for you in win-win situations. You can feel good about doing things in which everyone wins and not just you. Be a winner.

Finding ways to be of service to others is the easiest win-win scenario. You get the “win” of feeling good about what you are doing and others benefit (“win”) from your service. Nobody loses in those scenarios. Everyone is a winner. Be a winner.

Take stock at the end of each day to find the wins that you had in becoming the best you that you can be. That is your personal scorecard and will help you set self-improvement goals for het next day. If you find that you didn’t make any recognizable progress today towards being a better you, maybe you need to set more specific goals for yourself. Don’t beat yourself up for not achieving something today, but increase your resolve to be better tomorrow. Be a winner.

Being a better you may involve being healthier, being friendlier, being more compassionate, being more understanding and empathetic, being less fearful and letting go of prejudices, learning from your mistakes, and more. It is key to pause to reflect on the things that you did today, the reactions that you had to events and people and the decision that you made and ask yourself, “How could I have done better? How could I have turned that into a win-win?” Be a winner.

Maybe it would help put you in the right fame of mind to be a winner today if you started by taking a moment to ask God for his help today. Simply praying for God’s help today will make you a winner before you even leave the house, because you will already know from Romans 8:31 –  “If God is for us, who can be against us?”  Take the win that having God with you and find someone to share it with and that will result in a win-win. Be a winner today.

Be a winner today…

July 16, 2016

“There are victories of the soul and spirit.  Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.”  (Elie Wiesel)

The quote above from Elie Wiesel was used on the Jack’s Winning Ways blog recently. Jack went on to relate a story that you may have seen in the news – I recently read of a female softball player who was about to score the winning run in a championship game when she turned her ankle, fell to the ground, and couldn’t get up.  The 3rd baseman and the shortstop on the opposing team picked her up and carried her to home plate for the score.  That’s an example of winning by losing.

winner-loserAs a society we have become too fixated on score keeping, on winning and losing, on a zero sum game philosophy of life that somehow relates winning for one person meaning that someone else must lose. One of our presidential candidates seems to take great pleasure in characterizing people with whom he disagrees on various topics as “losers”.

To my way of thinking, if you can create a win-win situation, instead of a win-lose situation; then everyone can be happy because everyone feels like a winner. Life doesn’t always work out that way and sometimes you end up losing, whether it is in a sports event or maybe at work or in your personal life. In those times it is often hard to see a win for yourself.

Perhaps the win is in how you handle that adversity. It is a win of the soul. Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela endured years and years of what most would see as a loss, suffering in prison for his anti-apartheid activities. Yet Mandela did not let his imprisonment conquer is will and his soul. At the end of each day of imprisonment Mandela could claim another day of winning – a victory of his soul and spirit over those who sought to break him.

In our day-to-day lives, there are many opportunities to win, perhaps by sacrificing of your time or money in service to others. Is it a win if you give up doing something that you caregivermight have wanted to do in order to help someone who perhaps struggles to do anything at all? I think so. Is it a win to spend time with a shut-in who otherwise might just sit and stare out the window at traffic going by? I think so. Is it a win to take the money that you otherwise might have spent on another pair of shoes or another outfit and donate it instead to help those without any shoes and standing naked or in tatters? I think so. What do you really lose in those situations, when compared to how much you gain (win) in your soul?helper

Perhaps as you start each day, instead of praying “Lord, let me win today” you should focus your prayer instead on, “Lord let me find a win in service to You and others today.”  If you can achieve that you are a winner and the rest will take care of itself. Be a winner today!