I can count on one hand the times I’ve won a contest, so last weekend, I was surprised to learn my book Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well won first place in the SCWC Notable Book Awards for traditionally published nonfiction. I had already decided which of the finalist would win, and it wasn’t me, so seeing the results was a shocker.
Winning seems to be important to many people. Whether winning a competition, securing a contract, garnering a promotion, or coming out on top in an argument, there are those who would do almost anything to win. But is winning always about conquest, or do you think of something different when you think of a winner?
Following are characteristics of true winners:
Winners are Focused
Have you heard others talk about accomplishing something—entering a contest, tackling a project, losing weight—yet they never take the necessary steps to reach their goal? Lack of focus is one of the biggest hurdles to forward motion. Success requires a combination of focus and action. One without the other is usually not enough to achieve goals.
Winners are Humble
Unfortunately, winners are sometimes arrogant, self-elevated, and unreachable. True winners are the opposite, displaying a level of humility that is gracious, thankful, compassionate, and kind. Sometimes, that humility is the by-product of a long journey to the winners’ circle and the ability to remember what it felt like to not make it to the podium. When you are the winner, don’t forget those who want to be standing with you.
Winners are Patient
When you see athletes compete in the Olympics, they make it look easy, effortless almost. But what we don’t see when a winner crosses the finish line is the years of training, months of practice, days of developing skills, and hours of fine-tuning. Often, when winners take first place, they have waited years for that accomplishment. They have suffered many other times of defeat and discouragement. Winners are patient, slowly perfecting their craft and performance, and waiting for the day all comes to fruition.
Winners Affirm and Encourage
True winners affirm and encourage others. They remember the heartbreak of a less than stellar performance, the pain of injury, the criticism of an acid review, and the discouragement of feeling left out or overlooked. Winners think of others and come along side them to support, affirm, and encourage.
Winners are Overcomers
Winners are thick-skinned, flexible, and adaptable. They don’t pout or give up following a loss. Winners pick themselves up, work on weaknesses, utilize strengths, perfect their craft, and look ahead to the next opportunity.
Life is a long race with victories and defeats along the way. Keep moving forward, trusting God for guidance and endurance for the journey. When you don’t win, dust yourself off and keep striving. When you do win, rejoice.
“Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand” (Philippians 2:3-4 MSG).
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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