Winners, Losers, and Victims
One essential aspect of any game is to fully understand the possible outcomes beforehand.
We have all heard about the benefits of winning and the penalties
associated with losing, but too few know about the ancient strategy of
avoiding defeat by claiming to be a victim.
This is the strategy that claims others won because they had an unfair
advantage, and because the victim was handicapped in some way, and
because, well you know, things are always unfair, etc. etc.
Winners almost always win because of better preparation. It may not
seem like that to the losers, because winners sometimes seem to carry
off winning performances with ease, but winning is almost never an
The winning actress gets the part because she flossed every day,
practiced when others were out partying, and studied like crazy to
develop the skills needed to succeed.
The winning executive learns from his past mistakes and understands
the politics of the workplace well enough to know what is REALLY wanted
Successful people endure a lot of deprivation in order to achieve
long-term goals. These can include studying while others party,
painstaking preparation for presentations, long hours spent getting
results, the list can be endless. Winning depends on getting enough
right to make a go of it. All the preparation will be in vain if
something vital is missed. There is no guarantee of success. There is
only an increasing probability of success if you know enough and are well-prepared.
One key point is that winners make more friends than enemies and
these friends help propel them to positions of powers and success.
People who climb to success by exploiting others eventually get thrown
down by those they have betrayed.
Losers are those who fail to do enough of the actions that lead to
success. They may floss and study and all of that, but somewhere along
the way, they get discouraged and stop trying. Some stop trying in
grade school and we see them sleeping in doorways and under bridges.
Victims are losers who are not willing to take responsibility for
their own defeat. They seek sympathy for imagined wrongs. We are not
discussing victims of hurricanes here, we are discussing those who seek
a handicap for their incompetence. They will seek an advantage because
of their color or race or circumstances of birth rather than seeking
equality of opportunity. Victims, in a word, are irresponsible.
There are good reasons why the bar shouldn’t be lowered for those
who are less "fortunate". Airlines would be even more dangerous if
flown by the educationally challenged. Government by the terminally
confused would be an adventure that most of us in the U.S. could not
contemplate. Government is a chore that challenges the most highly
skilled and motivated. Anyone who has held senior positions in a
good-sized company knows how incredibly difficult it is to get things
to run right even with highly skilled people involved.
There are whole books that can be written on this subject. The
bottom line is that success takes a LOT of work and a very small amount
of luck. That is as it should be. When this natural order is
overturned, things go downhill rapidly.
(This was originally published on Sept 02, 2005)