Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a winner? You are not born a winner or loser. Both winning and losing are habits. It’s interesting how one person can have all the advantages, and all the luck, and yet still not be a winner in life. And someone else who has all the odds stacked against them turns out to be a massive winner.
There is a process to winning. Winners do things differently to losers. They have different mindset traits and specific behaviors and habits. To be a winner, you want to develop behaviors and habits that will allow you to win consistently.
In this article, you will discover what it takes to be a winner. I will reveal the 9 specific things that set winners apart from everyone else, so you can become a winner in the game of life.
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1. Setting Goals
Winners set goals. They set goals that are motivating, inspiring, exciting, but also realistic and with sensible deadlines. Their goals are SMART. This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. To learn how to set SMART goals, read my article about setting and achieving goals.
Winners focus on the “what” rather than the “how”. They put more attention on what they want to achieve. Winners are less concerned with how they’ll achieve it. They are also flexible to change their approach. Winners won’t stick with a course of action that isn’t working for them, Instead, they will be ready to change and try a different approach if they need to.
2. Create Habits That Support Your Goals
When you start a new project or goal, you’ll feel motivated, passionate and excited! That’s what initially drives you. The problem is, these feelings don’t last. Many people give up when they lose this passion and excitement and try something else. They dabble with different business opportunities, diets, fitness programs or even self-development courses. They get enthusiastic and passionate about something, but after a few weeks, that begins to wane.
When this happens, you need discipline and willpower to take over. But even discipline and willpower are not enough. You want to develop good habits too. Good habits can replace willpower and discipline because they help you do things naturally. Once something becomes a habit, you do it even when you don’t want to do it or you don’t feel like doing it.
Let’s say you want to lose weight. You develop good eating and exercise habits and you do these consistently. Or you want to become brilliant at a sport or hobby. So, you practice consistently, until it becomes a habit, and then a part of your identity.
If you want to improve, then I encourage you to practice visualization techniques, repeat affirmations, change negative thoughts and use other personal development techniques to help improve yourself.
3. Get Rid of Things
Many things can get in your way – possessions, activities, or other people. You want to make room for success. You can do that by minimizing obstacles and distractions. Ask yourself, “What is preventing me from being a winner?”.
4. Get Help from Other People
You can achieve impressive things on your own, but it can be very lonely. It can take a long time and be very frustrating. It’s much quicker and easier to enlist the help of others.
I’m talking about people that have already achieved what you desire. They have the experience, they’ve done the work, and they can help you accomplish what they’ve already achieved. These could be coaches, mentors, colleagues, or friends.
If you don’t have access to these people in person, then if they’ve written a book, read it. If they’ve created an online course, buy it and go through it. If they have a live seminar in your local town or city, go there and learn from them. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, learn the shortcuts that successful people already know. You can take advantage of their mistakes and their experience so you don’t make the same mistakes yourself.
5. Accept Responsibility
Accept responsibility for whatever happens. Accepting responsibility gives you control and the ability to change things. Take responsibility for all your actions and decisions. Even if a coach or a mentor recommends something, you still want to decide whether their idea or recommendation is right for you. To be a winner, make the right decisions and act on them.
6. Embrace Failure
Anything meaningful in life involves possible failure. The key is to change your perspective on failure. Think of failure as feedback. It’s a learning opportunity. It helps you discover what doesn’t work. And the key is to learn without dwelling on the failure.
The more action you take, the more failure and success you will have. Just by taking more action, you will experience more failures. Talk to any successful person and they will tell you that this is true! To be a winner, do a lot, fail a lot, and learn from each experience.
7. Use Your Time Wisely
Time is a great equalizer. Doctors, entrepreneurs, politicians and plumbers all have 24 hours in a day, just like you and me. What will give you the biggest bang for your buck? What activities will give you the biggest result either right now or in the long-term?
Once you know what these are, allocate chunks of time to do them with no interruptions. This means no surfing the internet or checking notifications on your phone. Or answering phone calls unless they are crucial to your business activities.
A great time-management approach that I learned recently is the Pomodoro technique. You spend 25 minutes doing one activity to the exclusion of everything else. Then you take a 5-minute break and after the break, you do another 25 minutes of work. Then you take another 5-minute break.
You repeat this 4 times and then take a longer break. 25 minutes seems to be a suitable amount of time to focus and concentrate on one task. This is easy to do, so I encourage you to give it a go.
8. Balance Learning and Doing
Knowledge helps us make the best decisions in our lives. And getting knowledge is so easy these days with the internet. Learning keeps you moving forward. It also ensures that your skills are up to date.
However, there is a caveat here, and that is balancing learning and doing. I call this the learning to action ratio. If you spend too much time learning, you begin to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Especially if you don’t have the time to implement all the things you have learned. Spend too much time doing, and you could miss out on better approaches that will get you further ahead.
The learning to action ratio will change as you gain experience. When I was starting my hypnotherapy career, I spent the majority of my time learning. This was necessary to get my clinical hypnotherapy qualification. After that, I spent a lot of time learning about marketing so I could get some clients. Over time, as I got more experience, I reduced my learning to action ratio to around 20% learning and 80% doing.
As you get better at something, you’ll spend more time doing and less time learning. To be a winner, it’s important to have the right balance between learning and action.
“Winners never quit”. “You can’t lose if you don’t quit”. You’ve probably heard these 2 quotes before. I don’t completely buy into either of them. I think sometimes when you’re not getting results after a few months of work, quitting might be the right thing to do.
Let’s say you’re implementing a particular fitness or diet program to lose weight, and you’re not getting the results you want after a few months. Then it’s probably time to try a fresh approach. You’re still sticking with achieving the ultimate goal, but you’re trying a different way to get there. The key thing is to keep moving towards your ultimate goal, measure your progress and have the flexibility to change your approach as needed. Do this and you will be a winner.
You also want to become a finisher. Whether it’s cleaning or writing reports, get into the habit of sticking with it until it’s done.
This new habit will send a message to your subconscious mind that you’re the person who finishes things. Over time, it will become part of your sense of identity. Then, when working on bigger goals, you will have the habit of finishing those tasks too.
To sum up, you will win when you:
- have clear goals.
- develop useful habits.
- persist until you achieve success.
Winning isn’t harder than losing, it’s just different. Start today and cultivate the habits that you need to become a true winner in your life.
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