The quote below comes from Jon Gordon. A best selling author and motivational speaker. He has been featured on the Today Show, NCC, Fox and Friends and in numbers magazines and newspapers. Jon is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in Teaching from Emory University. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations and teams.
PLAY TO WIN
There was a time in most of our lives when we had no fear-that feeling when we jumped from the jungle gym and slammed our little bodies to the ground. Perhaps it was when we went on our first roller coaster, or when we were in high school or college and felt that there was nothing we couldn’t do. No goal was unattainable. We were an unstoppable force that would think of something and then make it happen. Then, as time goes by, the world tells us more frequently that we can’t do what we want. The doubters laugh at our goals and try to persuade us from going after our dreams.
They say, “You’re crazy. It’s too hard. Why don’t you do this instead? You should play it safe.” They act as if dreams were meant for others but not people like us. They surround us with negative energy and try to instill their own fears and insecurities in us. We not only begin to know the word “fear,” we start to understand what it’s like to be fearful. With so many people telling us we can’t do something and so few telling us we can, it’s hard not to let fear into our lives. Unfortunately this is how many of us go through life.
Whether you are 20 or 50, many of us become so scared of losing what we have that we don’t go after what we truly want. We play it safe and hold on so tight to the status quo that we never experience what could be. We believe the doubters and don’t take chances that will move us one step towards our dreams. I call this “playing to lose”. We see this in sports all the time when a team has the lead. They start to think about how not to lose instead of how to win. They hold on so tight to their lead that they start playing safe and scared. You can see it in their energy and body language. As a result the other team takes chances, plays with no fear and eventually gains the momentum and wins.
To live a life filled with positive energy we must learn to repel the energy of fear. Whether it comes from within or from another person, we must overcome fear and adopt a “play to win” mindset. Playing to win requires a commitment to yourself that even if you fail, you will never give up and never let your goals and dreams die. Those who play to win know that success is not given to us. It is pursued with all the energy and sweat we can muster. Obstacles and struggles are part of life and only serve to make us appreciate our success. If everything came easy we wouldn’t know what it felt like to truly succeed. Obstacles are meant to be overcome. Fear is meant to be conquered. Success is meant to be achieved. They are all part of the game of life and the people who succeed play to win and never give up until the game is over.