While growing up, there are few things I hear older people talk about. Financial Issues, relationships, et cetera. While these discussions were hard to fully understand, one that really baffles me is when they advise us (the younger ones) and they talk about us having a winning mentality.
How do you get a winning mentality?… I really didn’t know but from what they say to us, I guess they couldn’t explain beyond words like, don’t give up or hang in there.
Sadly and blindly, I’ve always tried to do just that i.e. never giving up, giving it a go, hanging in there, trying not to be discouraged…… until an incident happened.
Some time ago, I was who I was (gentle, nice, never looking for trouble) and one day I got involved with one of the big guys in school.
He wanted to play football and asked me to look after his clothes for him. I kindly told him I wont stay long enough to look after his belongings.
I left the field shortly after and later in the day, the big guy came looking for me asking for his wrist watch. It isn’t with me I replied but he wasn’t going to have any of it, and neither was I. This is a battle I have to win because I told him I wasn’t going look after his belongings. After a few minutes of argument, I realised that winning this battle of words isn’t gonna be easy. Not long after, my bravery to stand up to him turned into fear, things are really heating up, and this guy will not hesitate to beat me black and blue if required, and surely I’m no match for him.
I was never going to win this…… I thought to myself!
“I give you a week to produce my wrist-watch, if not, life will be tough for you in this school” so he said.
This is boarding school…. there’s nowhere to hide and truly if this guy says life will be hard, I knew he wasn’t lying.
My winning mentality kind of failed me and really put me into trouble. A week later, I produced a wrist watch that my dad had to buy to stop the harassment or rather what some will call bullying.
Now that I’m older, I’ve realised that knowing when to fight, when not to fight, when to be silent, or when to speak, when to run or when to hide, when to be smart and when to be foolish all constitutes the makeup of a winning mentality.
In short, knowing what you need to do to win is testimony to your possession of the winning mentality.
In the book “Why we want you to be rich” by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, the title of the 7th Chapter is “Choose your battle – And and battlefield”
Sometime ago, I was glued to my TV watching an episode of prison break. In the prison series, there’s a man who is constantly bullied and maltreated by the other inmates. Things got from bad to worse when he was challenged to fight one of the big guys.
The rule of engagement simply states
“Two people go into the ring, but only one person comes out alive”. Who that person will be was reasonably clear from the outset.
The fight started and not too long after, the bullied man prevailed. His winning move was a deadly uppercut that knocked the big guy out.
All of a sudden, he’s become a hero, liberated himself from the hand of other bullies. He is now to be respected, left alone to leave a peaceful life. He can now walk through the prison yard with his head held high, his future as an inmate is starting to look bright.
But all the goodies and benefits of this hard fought victory never came to materialise simply because this man blew his chance of living a victorious life. He did not have a winning mentality.
He won the battle by a piece of trickery. He had a piece of cloth that was soaked in a chemical that causes dizziness. So while he was fighting, the chance he was looking for was to get close to the big guy and stuff the cloth close to his nostrils, this will make him dizzy and then he can beat him. The plan worked, but once the fight was over, the man failed to protect the secret of his success.
He carelessly dropped the piece of cloth, another inmate found it and walked up to him letting him know that he knows the secret of his success, and that if he didn’t answer to him henceforth, he’ll let everyone know how he won.
In other words, barely seconds after the victory, the bullied man was back to his original state. Fear crept back into his life and his hard earned victory was taken away from him.
It became very obvious that he lacked the winning mentality.
Winning mentality makes you grind results out, even when loosing. It makes you hold on to your victories and liberates you from the grips of failure.
Every sustained winner possesses a large portion of this winning mentality. However, like the older people that I’ve listened to, finding a definition for it is still a big task majorly because the things that spur us on differ from person to person.
Some people get the inspiration to win from other people, or from experience, or from a seemingly bad situation.
As Christians, God’s word says
“He that is born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith”
Note the word “overcomes”- talking about a position of continuous victory by our faith.
Overcomers are God lovers, God lovers are faith users, Faith users must be God pleasers.
In this series, I’ve posted about Self Discipline, Purpose, Integrity, Sustenance, Know Yourself and Winning Mentality. These I believe are key ingredients amongst others that we need to live victorious lives daily.