There are winners and losers in life. Contrary to popular opinion, winning is not a lottery based on privilege, birthright, luck or special talents. There are way too many real-life “Horatio Alger stories” that prove otherwise. The number of “train wrecks” among the rich and famous makes the same point. Winning comes from having the right attitudes and making the right choices.

Winners are made in the kiln called “adversity.” It is the intense heat of adversity that strengthens and refines. Each time people conquer adversities, they are made stronger for the next trial and reminded that losing is NOT about falling down. Rather, losing is defined as “not getting up.” For winners, losing is not an option.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” — Bible, James 1:2-3

There are four types of people — three of them are winners.

Innovator: a person who is driven to do what has never been done before.

Orville and Wilbur Wright had a vision – powered flight. No one had ever done it, but these brothers believed they would be the first. So, they devoted their every spare moment to discover how. Innovators ignore the critics and slavishly chase their dreams. When innovators stumble, their dreams inspire them to get back up and try again. Along the way they might successfully discover hundreds of ways that do not work before they find one that does. But, innovators never give up.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” — Walt Disney

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – )

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Anonymous

Leader: a person who does what needs to be done even when he does not feel like doing it.

Leaders believe that anything that has been done before can be repeated and improved upon. They embrace the challenge to be the sequel to someone else’s legacy through their own innovations. By adding new value through the improvements they contribute, leaders raise the bar. Leaders attract followers and teach followers also to have success through a winner’s mindset, discipline, focus and hard work.

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” — Ray Kroc

“Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” — Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” — Tom Peters

Follower: a person who trusts and emulates a leader. A wise follower pursues his dreams by finding a good opportunity and choosing a good leader to follow.

The rest is a game of “Follow the Leader.” Followers do what that leader does, in order to go where the leader is going. Good followers are actually leaders in training, even if they don’t realize it. They just need confidence through experience to become leaders.

“Even sheep should have brains enough not to follow the wolf.” — Joseph Goodfield

“Remember that it is far better to follow well than to lead indifferently.” — John G. Vance

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen

Loser — a person who consistently sees life as an empty glass will, when presented with an opportunity, make excuses, imagine all of the worst things that can happen and succumb to the fears of his/her imagination.

Such people justify their lack of achievement by blaming something or someone. Losers also have ideas and dreams, but they either lack virtue or have allowed themselves to be held captive to the negative opinions of others. Losers give up too often and too easily, but losers seldom start anyway because they fear failure above everything else.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” — Thomas A. Edison

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” — Mary Pickford

Anyone can be a winner by choosing to win every moment of every day. The formula is simple, even though it’s not always easy.

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright July 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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