Have you ever heard, “It isn’t whether you win or lose; it is how you play the game”? I’m sure you have. But do you know who said it? Some guy who came in second place!
You see, I have a problem with that statement. It presupposes, or at least strongly suggests, that winning and playing the game “right” are mutually exclusive propositions. Perhaps we ought to have this as our goal as we pursue success: We want to win, but only by playing the game the right way. I totally disagree with the statement that we should win at all costs. Rather, we should do everything we can to win at this game we call life. And we ought to do all that we can to help others win, too.
With that, here are some thoughts on staying in the game—to win.
Any game worth playing is a game worth pursuing to win.
If I get into a game, I play to win. What nobility is there in playing like a slacker? What virtue is purposeful mediocrity? None. I live my life to be a winner—spiritually, financially, physically, emotionally, even relationally—in every area of my life.
It is good to win.
We live in an age where people have reacted to sore winners by saying that we shouldn’t strive for winning. Many of our schools have abandoned the idea of competition, and our test scores reflect that. Kudos to all of the teachers out there who still tell their kids that they can be winners. That it is good and noble to win. That it is good to push ourselves, to stretch and reach for victory.
There doesn’t have to be a loser in life.
Yes, in team competition, there will always be losers, but in life, we can all win. We can all strive for the best and give it our all to win. Winners are the people who move families, businesses, organizations, cities and countries ahead. Winners are the people who push progress. You don’t think that a couch potato will cure cancer or discover the next great technology, do you? No, it will be someone who has chosen to be a winner!
Losing can mean winning.
Just because your score in a game or contest is the lowest at the end, doesn’t mean all is lost. You can still be a winner because you gave it your all, you competed at your highest level, you learned new skills and strategies, and you became a better player and person. That’s winning in my book.
Winners help others win.
Good people, those who pursue winning by excellence, are also people who stop to help others so that they, too, can enjoy the spoils of victory. Pursue the win, but help others achieve all that they can as well. Winners make everyone better. When I compete in athletic matches, I want to play against the best. Yes, I may come up short in the score, but I will be better because the winner will make me grow in every area of my game. Winners stretch the losers so that they, too, can become winners.
Questions for reflection:
- Are you afraid of winning?
- Do you think it is wrong to win?
- Are you living each area of your life as though you are a winner?
- Are you enjoying your wins?
- Are you helping others win with you?
Friends, we need to play in the game of life completely. That means doing what it takes to make the goal or cross the finish line. You may have to slow your pace or change your strategy along the way, but stay in it and win it!