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How to win

30 November 2012, 12:00

There is a reason why not everybody wins in life. The reason is quite simple really, not everybody is a winner! You see winning is not something that just happens because it was your luck, or it was meant to be or any kind of shit like that. There are people who always give it their best short, but never ever come out victorious. There are people who waited patiently for their time to come, but it never came. It’s not that luck deserted all these people, or that it was just not meant to be- those are just excuses formulated long ago by some losers who wanted to console themselves, sadly those excuses have been passed down from generation to generation and nowadays people fail to see them for what they really are; old lame excuses for losing.

Let’s start by a basic definition of what is a winner, and for that we’ll have to go to the dictionary right? Well let’s do it. According to the Oxford advanced learners dictionary, a winner is “a person that is successful or likely to be successful”. The key word here is ’likely’. This word explains why it always seem to be the same people who always win in life. I mean think about it, Manchester United always win more matches than say Stoke City, Vladimir Klitchko always wins a heavy weight title fight, why? Is luck always on his side, or maybe it is his time- is it possible that it can always be his time, all the time (me don’t think so!)

The fact of the matter is that the people who always win in life win because they are doing something which everybody else is not doing. They don’t win because of luck, or because it was their time or that it was meant to be (who meant it to be anyway?). And when I say they are doing something, I’m not talking about Black Magic, cheating or anything illegal (okay, we’ll exclude Neil Armstrong here). There is a reason why some people always win and others don’t, winning is not something that just happens but it is a system that needs to be mastered in order to succeed in whatever it is that you’re doing. Now without any further ardour, let’s explore this system that I’m talking about.

In order to win in life, you must first and foremost have a very strong (and I mean very strong) mental toughness, without it your chances of ever being a winner are close to none-existent. The subject of mental toughness is broad a very important, that why I have to discuss it first and I have to discuss it in detail. Bear with me as we go together on a journey to uncover the secret to becoming the best in life.

 Imagine you’re a priced fighter; you’re facing the heavy weight champion of the world. This guy has never been defeated, has been champion for the past six years and 34 of his 36 professional bouts he won by knockout. This guy is in the prime of his career and this is the first major fight of yours. First of all your approach I’m sure will be to show respect to the guy, get defensive for the first few rounds- try not to get knocked out early that is, which is a good strategy (this guy is dangerous).

You take some blows; you give one or two yourself for six rounds. Everyone expected you to go down within five rounds, somehow you’re still standing. The champion is getting angrier by the minute; belief is building in your camp- there could be hope for you yet. Round seven starts and the champion comes at you with everything he’s got, no more playing around now, this has gone on long enough according to him, time to end it.

He gives you blow after blow, you’re backed-up into a corner, doing your upmost to fend him off but he just keeps on coming. Somehow you survive round seven, round eight; you make it up to round nine. By this time you’ve already achieved a monumental effort, you’ve just become everyone’s favourite now, just for the shear will and determination that you’ve shown. You can go down any moment now and people will still applaud you.

Round ten, you don’t even know who you are anymore; you’re bleeding from every part of your face, your eyes have been beaten up so bad that your vision is impaired. You have no more energy to even block the punches anymore, why the referee hasn’t ended it already only God knows. This is the kind of situations that define or differentiate between the good and the great. Yes it’ll all be fine to say you gave it your all, your best short, everything that you’ve got, it was just not meant to be, everyone will appreciate your effort.

Or instead of being labelled a good fighter after the match, you can choose to be called a great fighter. In such a situation, that’s when the winning mentality of a winner kicks in. A winner always believes that they should win, NB: not that they can win, but that they SHOULD win. No matter the circumstances, no matter the challenge, the odds, a winner always believes at all times that they will come out victorious. Things like, he was just too strong, or whatever are just excuses, they have no place in a winner’s vocabulary.

Going back to the fight, it is round ten now, even if you don’t go down you’ll probably loose the match by unanimous decision anyway, surely the best thing to do is to spare yourself the pain and just go down right? That’s what all logic and all common sense suggests. But that’s the thing, a winner never goes according to logic, a winner always goes against ALL odds (You hear that, ALLLLLLL odds). It means that no matter how impossible it seems, no matter how preposterous it is to continue believing, a winner always believes he will win.

The thing that you need to realise is that such a belief has the power to carry you when you have no more energy to go on by yourself. Have you ever had of the statement “He was running on instinct alone”? When you’re running on instinct, the only thing you have to hold on to in that moment is faith. By that time all your training has gone out of the window, there’re no more strategies being followed, you’ve completely ventured into the unknown, No one to support you, to encourage you, nothing to hold on to, you’re all alone now.

But even if everything and everyone can desert you in life, there’s one thing that will never desert you, your faith. My point here is that ‘strong mentality’ is just a fancy phrase white people came up with for never giving up. To put it in simple terms, to have a strong mentality means to never give up, no matter what!

Going back to the fight again, you manage to stay on your feet for twelve rounds against the most fiercest opponent in the face of the earth. You ultimately lose the fight on points decisions. But here’s the good part, even after losing you still don’t accept that you lost. This is where a lot of people stray. They say I gave it everything I have and I still couldn’t win, I’m just not good enough. My question is, who told you that you must win on your very first attempt, show me that person and I’ll give him a very nice hard smack on the chicks cause’ he’s misleading you.

One thing you must realise is that every time you do something and you don’t succeed, you gain something in the process that will make you better at it next time. Look at a TV game for example, first time you play it, there’s always that stage that you can’t seem to go past initially. But after a few attempts you breeze past it right? So why do you only apply that principle to a TV game and not in real life! Think about it, is there anything in your life you just woke up one day, decided to do it and you were just automatically brilliant at? I doubt it.

Everything in our lives we’ve had to learn. Remember the first time you tried to ride a bike, how well did that go? See what I mean! But you became the fastest rider on two wheels ultimately right? The point is there’s no such thing as a born winner, practice makes perfect. It is such a cliché that people just don’t take it that seriously anymore, but it is so true and not only that, but it is the foundation that a winning spirit id built upon.

These things are inter-related, never giving up, strong mentality and practice. What happens is, first of all you’ll have that belief in yourself that you’re the best at something (at first it will sound and seem like nothing more than just an elusion), and then that belief will propel you to train harder right? To practice! There will be those times it’ll feel like you’re just wasting your time, you’ll think who I’m I trying to fool actually. In those times you need that never say die attitude, you need to remind yourself that champions never give up. You might have all the ingredients to be a winner but this is the core, the foundation to which everything about you will be built upon. It goes without saying that attitude is the difference between the guy who’s good at something and the guy who’s great.

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