No. 47

As the famous golfer, Lee Trevino, a poor Mexican who became a rich Spaniard, has said, "There is one thing that never gets old and that's winning!" I'm sure you know that it's just human nature to want to win, but unfortunately in the larger game of life there are millions of people who aren't playing to win. These people are playing not to loose, and there is a big difference. To illustrate the concept of playing not to loose, please allow me to use an athletic example. If you are like I am, you spend at least some of your time watching sporting events in person or on television. While watching countless basketball games, I've seen one team play hard for about three-fourths of the game and get ahead by a considerable margin. Then for some reason their strategy changed and instead of playing to win, they started playing not to loose. In short, they started playing the clock instead of the other team. In some cases this strategy worked out, but more often than not, the team that was behind kept playing to win -- and they did.
Now I'd like to go back to what I was saying earlier about the millions of people who are playing not to loose in the only game that really counts: the game of life. Instead of developing a long range plan and setting some clearly defined goals that would enable them to take charge of their lives, they're simply marking time and hoping that nothing bad will happen to them. Each day these people live in fear that they will not loose their jobs, get sick or have an accident, that one or more of their kids will not get in trouble and they also fear that they won't be able to pay enough on their credit card balances to be able to keep them.
While I have no way of knowing about you or your circumstances, if you happen to be one of these people or know someone who is, I have some good news to share with you. We can lose more athletic contests than we win, but still be a real winner in the game of life. If I recall, when I was playing high school football, we only won about three games out of twenty in the two years I was on the team. What we need to keep in mind is that we all have our "ups" and "downs", our good days and bad days, our victories and our defeats, because that's what life is all about. The most important thing here is our attitude, our desire and our will to win.
The legendary Green Bay Packer football coach, Vince Lombardi once said, "Winning is not the main thing, it's the only thing!" Obviously his team didn't win every game, but when they went on the field, he had every one of his players mentally prepared to win. It should also be noted here that a true winner always plays by the rules. As this applies to you and me, we can't get ahead financially or any other way if we cheat or give less than our best at whatever we are doing. We see people who try this all the time and they may get away with it for a while, but sooner or later the scales will balance.
You know, the human mind is a wonderful tool and it will take us anywhere we want to go, but the key to our success is how we use it. Here's something I ran across by an unknown author that will bring this thought into clear focus: "Great minds have noble objectives, high purposes and daring dreams; average minds engage themselves in wishful thinking and petty dabblings in little ventures; small minds are content to complain why life has passed them by." To close out with a baseball example, just remember, a bloop single looks like a line drive in the box score the next day. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)