Are You Playing to Win or Not to Lose?

Playing to Win

Are You Playing to Win?

Here’s how I see things. You’re either on a path to better yourself or you’re just drifting through life hoping for good things.

That’s how I interpret playing to win or not to lose. Playing to win means you’re intentionally looking ahead to seek opportunities. You have a desire to excel. You want to set a new standard of excellence. You run to the competition.

Playing not to lose means you’re doing what you can just to meet minimum expectations hoping there will be a payoff. You don’t want to rock the boat. Your objective is to survive. You run from the competition.

Set a goal and exceed it!

Why on Earth would you refuse to better yourself? Set a goal and exceed it, or at least try. I have more respect for someone who has at least tried vs. someone who has never made an attempt. Trust me. I’ve fallen on my face many times. It’s easy to stay down.

“This is how we’ve always done it.”

It’s the mindset of “I’m not good enough, so why bother?” which contributes to this thinking. The other way of thinking is “This is how we’ve always done it.”

This thinking is poisonous to any organization, so remove it.

Learn from failures and move on.

If you want successful change, don’t plan to see your entire objective reached overnight. Instead, divide it into smaller, measurable goals. To put it into even simpler terms. Let’s say you need to fill an empty pitcher with water, but all you have is a tablespoon. You’re going to fill it, but you must realize it’s going to take time before you see a change. You’re probably going to spill water along the way too. It’ll happen, be patient. Make decisions, succeed or fail. Learn from failures and move on.

Remember, you’re playing to win. Raise your standards.

If you’re needing an even more in-depth perspective, read “Do You Play to Win—or to Not Lose?” from the Harvard Business Review

-Thomas