Why winners are all losers!

Average people do not do amazing things. Amazing people do amazing things.

Now, I’m guessing some of you are itching to give me an example of some totally average person doing something extraordinary, and quite aside from the fact that the person in question really wouldn’t thank you for describing them as being average, the fact remains that to do something amazing, no matter how average that person might be, for a moment — no matter how long or how fleeting — they did something amazing, which required of them to be amazing.

And so it follows that the people who constantly achieve masterfully in life and in business are the ones who do amazing things with almost clockwork regularity. But there’s a caveat; these people are also losers.

Losers? Yes. Losers.

I read a quote recently that stuck in my head and connected with me in a very profound way, which went along the lines of: winners lose more than losers. So here’s my expansion on that near truism: do not fear failure.

As humans, we are adept at learning from our mistakes. I’m not saying this is a quality unique to humans, but it’s a quality that we have shown an unerring capacity to capitalize on. In a very real sense, failure is the engine of success.

Either secreted deep within the dark recesses of their subconscious, or writ large on a sheet of paper in their offices, winners know that to fear failure is to fail once and fail forever.

Those who succeed most probably know and understand the true value of professionalism, and arguably as important, knowing what professionalism isn’t:

“A huge salary is not a sign of professionalism. Nor is a insulting the competition, getting blind drunk in public, beating up your girlfriend, illicit affairs, gambling addictions, abusive behaviour or questionable TV appearances.”

Of course, one could make an argument resting on the old adage: a death of a thousand cuts. And that would be a sound argument.

But that’s where this thought piece could easily turn into a thesis, and where we begin to fear the unknown.

2009 is the year I begin to fail graciously and then learn from those mistakes with a passion…

3 Responses to “Why winners are all losers!”

  1. Peter Drucker once said, “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. ”

    Tom Peters said “Fear of failure or blame culture penalizes and discourages initiative.”

    The bottom line, as you’ve so cogently explained, is that we have to take risks to succeed. We have to fail sometimes, and when we do we have to take what we learn from those failures to move forward. I think we’re naturally risk averse, so sometimes we’re hesitant to take the chances, but that hesitancy can lead us to fail in other ways. We all know and accept that one will fall several times before learning to ride a bicycle, but it’s hard to apply that understanding to other more important aspects of our life. Yet if we think back on our successes I think we can all see the tumbles we took along the way. This is a good reminder that we need to keep tumbling to move forward.

  2. Wayne Smallman

    For the past nine years of running Octane, I’ve been risk averse.

    There’s been a tendency for to find a £10 note and then lose £50 the day after. But I have to overcome that, and conquering the fear of that is crucial. For me at any rate.

    As I commented elsewhere, I’d rather be a prisoner to my dreams than a prisoner to the weaknesses and iniquities of others…

  3. Mark Fairbanks

    How true.

    Yesterday I tweeted this “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” ~Samuel Beckett

    Pretty much sums it all up with a nice touch of prose to boot.

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