Playing a better game of life – part 3

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 you won because you 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 accident.

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 from him.

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 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.


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