Luck appears to have faced the other direction from you. You just cannot seem to triumph in anything you put your hands onto. Your efforts appear to be going to the waste and you are so drained that extra effort does not seem to make sense. You probably have tried that which you consider to be your best. You have even speculated that God knows you tried even as you contemplate resigning from additional effort in whatever you are trying to achieve. Maybe it is time to pause and ask yourself a crucial question, Why am I doing what I am doing? In other words, What motivated my venturing into this project? Why am I in business? Why am I in this relationship?
Different people do different things for different reasons. Of importance here is that whatever reason gets one into something determines how long they stay in it and how successful they become in whatever they get doing. It is the force that kicks the ball that determines how far the ball goes as well as the effectiveness of the kick. How strong is the reason that got you into what you are doing?
There are different answers to the questions asked above and many other similar ones. One of the most powerful sets of answers to these questions is whether you are doing what you are doing with an aim of winning or not losing. The answer to these questions might just explain why your efforts appear to be going to the waste. Are you doing what you are doing to win or not to lose? Confusing right? The two scenarios are totally different and they lead to different results and implications. There will always be two kinds of people in any activity; those who do things to win and those who do things not to lose.
To help figure out the difference in these two near-similar cases, we shall consider the example of athletes. An athlete who is running to win has his eyes focused on the medal and nothing else. He is not concerned with who is catching up. The only concern is the medal ahead. On the other hand, an athlete who is running not to lose has his mind preoccupied with the fear of losing. He runs harder not to win, but to avoid coming last. Such an athlete keeps looking behind to see whether someone else is catching up with him and whether he is likely to be last. He stands great chance of stumbling and falling while looking behind. Such athletes have got very little to write home about as far as performance is concerned. Running to win if successful will lead to a trophy while running not to lose if successful will make one feel good that he/she did not come last in the race. Who doesn’t want a trophy?
No one wants to lose in anything. Unfortunately, most people do what they do with an aim of not losing instead of that of winning. Most people go to work so as not to be seen as idle instead of having a goal they seek to achieve. As a result, career advancement remains an illusion. Their motivation to work is not strong enough to elicit greater than usual performance. They only work to be counted among the employed. Another batch of people get into business because all their peers seem to be doing well in business. They are motivated by the fear of being left behind (failure). The end result is frustration since they have no clue about business or why their peers are in business. Some have gotten into relationships (including marriage) not with an aim of succeeding in them, but to fit in the expectations of society. Of course they do not want to lose, but they do not want to win either.
Let me pose another question relevant to this. Which of these scenarios would you work harder at if you were in business: increasing your market value to earn an extra Ksh.10,000.00 or prevent someone from stealing or conning you of Ksh.10,000.00. It might interest you to note that most people will work harder to prevent losing what they already have than to go for what they want. No wonder the struggling populace struggle to keep their money in savings accounts while the affluent operate current accounts and invest using the savings of the struggling majority in form of loans. One group is motivated by fear of losing while the other by the urge to win.
My prayer in this write up is for you to realize the huge difference between doing things to win and doing them not to lose. Whether you focus on losing or not losing, you are still focusing on the concept of losing. In life, you always get what you focus on. In this case, you increase your chances of losing even when you focus on not losing. If this is the case, doesn’t it make sense for us to just focus on winning and nothing else? That way, we keep our eyes on the prize. The greatest sportsmen and women of history never focused on not losing but winning. It is the famous golfer Tiger Woods who said that if he did not think he would win, he would not even play.
This concept applies in all spheres of our lives. All great people before and of our times mastered the magic of the attitude that says, “I will be the best and I will not settle for anything less.” Why should you settle for average? Is it your best? Stop appearing busy with no results to show. It is time to redefine your reason for doing that in which you seem to be achieving little. Do everything with an aim of emerging great and not with an aim of not being left behind. Do not look behind to see who is catching up with you, focus on your goal and run your own race. Remember, you are not in competition with any other person but with your own capabilities. The only person you need to outshine is the previous YOU. You were born a winner and winning should be your sole agenda in everything you touch. Do not give up yet, just shift your focus from not losing to winning because YOU CAN DO BETTER!
Motivational Speaker and Author.