Maybe You Want to Win Too Badly.

For most of us, there is nothing we want more than "to win"

You can't help it. Neither can I.  It's part of your DNA.

If you do something, then you want to be the best at it. And even if you aren't super competitive, you probably have a problem with being the "loser" of the group.

I play basketball in a church league, and I am the worst player on my team. And that drives me bonkers. Completely insane. You know when they change around the plays and the defense to limit your damage, that you are more of a liability than anything else.

Now here's the self-destructive thing that I do.  And maybe you do it too. I decide to be the best at that one thing. Right then.

Which is just nuts.  I am out of my mind.

The reality is that I haven't played basketball in over a decade. No joke. I didn't even really play much in high school. A little here or there in college. I run and play soccer and do extreme sports like MMA. I am the farthest thing from a basketball player.

And yet, if I play it, then I have to be the best at it.

And that's just a bad use of my time.  It got me thinking:

1. Winning at everything means losing at anything

When you divide your focus, you tend to do a lot of things.  But you do those things half-ass.  It's hard not to.  Your body is tired and your mind (eventually) gets worn out.  Even if you want to perform at high levels, you physically can't.

So let's talk about you and your goals.  It's not about you doing a million things.  It's you deciding to do one thing super amazingly well.  You'll lose at anything if you try to win at everything.  It's the most likely thing that will happen

2. Winning easy doesn't really count as a win

You can't call it a win if it's handed to you.  When it comes too easy to notch up another win you shouldn't consider it winning.  It's like an inheritance -- you didn't anything to deserve that.

And what's even more dangerous with an easy win is that you don't know what you did to earn it.  So when you try to replicate your success, you find yourself doing really awkward, self-limiting activities.  No high-performance activities.  The pain of trying to win is a powerful force in motivating us toward success.

3. The cost of winning can be a huge loss

You don't have unlimited emotional bandwidth.  Funds. Friends. Or ideas.  Everything has a cost to you.  Winning has an even bigger cost to you.  When things blow up for us it's usually because we forgot to do something or we just pain couldn't do it.

The cost of winning is something that we can easily gloss over, but it's absolutely key to our success.  Ohhh.... and if you want to help limit the damage from trying to win, you need to stay in shape:

  • That means you're financially nimble -- not swimming in monthly obligations.
  • That means you're physically stable -- staying in shape and getting sleep and nutrition
  • That means you're mentally prepared -- getting help for your worries and fears (e.g. therapy)

Don't stop winning

And don't stop putting in the massive amounts of effort that it takes to win.

Just don't want to win so badly that you make bad decisions.