Years ago, as I was opening a box of cereal for breakfast, I smiled and then laughed out loud when I saw the words written on the box top “To see if you’re a winner, look inside.” That quote has remained with me as a reminder that in order to win in the game of life, we first need to recognize the source of our success. Not sure that the cereal company had that in mind when they encouraged digging through the flakes for a plastic toy, unless they had a really creative ad person on board, but I liked the reference. This morning, not long after enjoying my cereal doused with almond milk and sprinkled with fruit, I noticed this encouraging message on facebook. It begged the question: What does it mean to win? In some circles, it implies beating the stuffings out of someone else, either literally like in a boxing ring or metaphorically as in a Presidential race. Not my idea of winning. In the circles in which I travel, which I much prefer, it means bringing the best of who you are to any table you approach. It means waking up each day, setting intention to create wonder, making decisions that positively impact you and the world around you. When you feel like a winner after accomplishing a goal, whether it is running a mile or completing a book, passing a test or asking someone out on a date, then you can take the next step and reach even higher. With that type of momentum, you are an example for others. And even more than that, your smile that says you did it, is contagious. Imagine a day in which, step by step, you climb the ladder of success.
One way to feel like a winner, is to surround yourself with them. When I was a kid, I heard over and over this line “You are judged by the company you keep.” What that meant to me is that if I am with people who think in limited ways, I absorb that energy and become that way myself. If I choose to be with happy, successful people who are a joy to spend time with, then I am seen that way as well. Jim Rohn who is a motivational speaker has said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Think about the ones who are in your closest sphere. Are they naysayers or yaysayers? Are they kvetching and complaining about life, feeling like victims or are they taking positive action and living like thrivers? How do people view you? How do you view yourself? Do you spend time with the same people out of habit, obligation, fear? Are you with them because you truly value each other’s company? Do you bring out the best in each other? For a long time, I stayed in friendships because I thought I would be disloyal if I left them. In truth, the only one to whom I was being disloyal was myself by remaining in unhealthy situations with toxic people. No one need ever prove their loyalty at their own emotional peril. Once I said goodbye to them, my own sense of self worth rose incrementally. When you can respect the man or woman in the mirror, your win-ability rises with it.
So, what are your gold medal musings and prize winning ponderings? I accept completely that we would not be given the inspiration to do something if the seeds for accomplishment were not already there. Perhaps the outcome is not exactly as we have envisioned it, but sometimes it is. We won’t know until we take those steps to arrive at our destination. If you carry the knowing that it is possible…..heck, even likely that you can dream, strive believe, achieve (this was written in lovely script on a mug given to me by a friend many years ago), then how could you feel like anything BUT a winner? Having said that, be advised that there are times when I get discouraged and wonder what the heck I am doing. And then….the magic happens, like a friend calling with just the right words to lift me out of my self imposed funk, or a lovely review of my book gets posted on Amazon or I am asked to speak at a conference or I am able to able to stay on the elliptical or do a few more reps during my ‘playouts’ at the gym. Mostly I feel like a winner when I am aware of the countless blessings that surround me, as if my name keeps being called at an awards ceremony. I graciously accept and say to the universe, as did Sally Field when she won an Academy Award for Places In The Heart-” I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”
“The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ, or in talent. The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for success.” Denis Waitley
“There are always new, grander challenges to confront, and a true winner will embrace each one.”-Mia Hamm
“I don’t care to be remembered as the man who scored six touchdowns in a game. I want to be remembered as a winner in life.”-Gale Sayers
http://youtu.be/nuJUulfBb8s Born For Greatness -Jana Stanfield