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The winning mindset

Are you unhappy when others are succeeding? Does your success seem dependent on someone else’s failure?

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I AM COMING BACK

An opportunity to prove everyone wrong by coming back strongly to occupy your space. 

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BELIEVE IN YOURSELF 

Pride is holding your head up when everyone around you has theirs bowed. 

The winning mindset

Are you unhappy when others are succeeding? Does your success seem dependent on someone else’s failure?

“Keeping up with the Joneses” is an expression that is commonly used to describe the attitude of always wanting to keep up with the neighbours in terms of possessions and wanting to have the things that our neighbours have. 

Envy is another word that can be used to describe this frame of mind. This is a very appropriate word because it encompasses greed, jealousy, resentment and a strong desire for something somebody else has, usually at whatever cost. 

The winning mindset - origins

Unfortunately, it is an attitude that is widespread, not only in Zambia, but all over the world. Throughout our childhood and most of our adult life, competition is the order of the day. Right from our school days we are taught that our self worth is measured in relation to other people.

At school, our grading system gives you a number at the end of the term. If you “pass number one” that means you are the best in your class. If you “pass number 25” that means there are 24 other kids that are better than you are. So if you want to be number one and “win” you must make sure that all the other kids “lose” and pass number two or more.

Wait a minute though, why can’t all the kids in class pass number one? Why must we compare one child to another? A simple pass or fail remark on the report card might be sufficient without necessarily stating numbers. Unfortunately for children, parents take these numbers very seriously. 

This carries on through life. The boss must ensure that he does not allow his juniors to get too much knowledge or qualifications if he is to keep his number one spot as the top dog in the company. In fact, at times he must deliberately frustrate any efforts by his subordinates to progress. 

Even amongst friends and relatives this occurs. Sibling rivalry does not always end when children grow up. A lot of times it continues. The success of one child in adulthood is measured against the success of another. It seems whatever we have achieved seems insignificant when compared to what so and so has done or acquired.

The winning mindset – dangers of the loser mentality

There are several reasons why envy is such a problem. Firstly, if you are envious of another person’s success that means you will never be satisfied with anything you ever achieve. The fact remains that most times there will always be someone that does better than you in some area. 

Secondly, if you are envious of other people’s success it means you have no clue what you want for your own life. Just because the Joneses have it or do this and that does not mean you should have it or do it. Will it help you in achieving your own objectives and “minding your own business?” If you have a clear vision for your life, what another person achieves or acquires won’t matter: you will know exactly where you are, why you are there, where you need to go and what you need to do to get there.

Thirdly, carried to some extremes, envious people will even try to cripple the progress of others and stop it if possible. Rather than channel their energy into their own success they channel it into this very unproductive mindset: backstabbing, sabotaging, destroying at every chance they get and spending their prime time on thinking about others instead of thinking of ways to improve their own situation. 

The winning mindset – the three basic mindsets

When it comes to succeeding in life there are three basics mindsets that people tend to have. These are the win/lose mentality, the lose/lose mentality and the win/win mentality.

People with a win/lose mentality would be those that compare themselves to other people all the time. They believe that in order for them to succeed others must fail. To them, success is relative. 

Those with a lose/lose mentality believe that they can never achieve anything worthwhile so why should they let you do so. They try to keep other people in the sinking boat that they are in. Negativity is the order of the day for them. Don’t ever try to tell such people that you have great plans for your life – they will only criticize you and tell you it can’t be done. After all, they tried that already and it did not work!

Dreamers, who are achievers, have the win/win mentality. Not only do they know that they are capable of and will succeed, but they realise that their success does not depend on other people’s failure. To the contrary, their success depends on other people’s success. 

The winning mindset – cultivate it

If you are to succeed in life and become the person you are meant to be, then you must know that you will not get there alone. Therefore you must help others to succeed and to become great if you are to be great yourself. It is often said that the greatest people are always those that help others.

Learn to be happy about others’ success and look forward to your own success. Do not judge yourself based on what others have achieved, but rather based on what you want to achieve. Depending on what you want in life, their success could be failure to you or vice versa, but it should not matter to you either way. 

Life is not a race against other people. It is a one man race. You determine the destination, the route, the time limits and the prize. We are all running a different race. How do you compete with someone that is not on the same track as you are? 

Envy and jealousy are habits you must always be weary of and stay clear of. Like other bad habits they will only rob you of your energy, creativity, drive, clarity of mind and enthusiasm for life. 

The winning mindset - conclusion

Stephen R. Covey, in discussing this subject states: “Win/win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others…It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.” 

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

 

 

Dealing with problems

You can be hindered from making progress if you ignore your problems. Could you be letting little challenges grow into huge obstacles by not dealing with them?

When faced with unpleasant situations it is tempting to ignore them and not deal with them. The path of least resistance is an attractive one and the effort required to deal with the problem sometimes seems too immense. At times it’s not so much that the problem is big but that it requires us to admit something about ourselves or others that we just don’t want to face. The trouble is “You won't find a solution by saying there is no problem.”

Dealing with problems – the dangers of not handling your problems

The longer you take to deal with your problems the bigger they will grow and the harder it will be to sort them out. They are like weeds that grow in a beautiful garden. If not recognized and uprooted early enough they will dominate the garden and choke the beautiful flowers in the garden. In fact you will forget there was ever a lovely garden there to begin with.

Secondly, when ignored, problems may become accepted as the norm. I remember working at a hospital where there are often shortages of medical supplies. As medical staff there we got so used to improvising that even when some supplies were in stock we did not think of using them. For instance, we improvised arm slings for shoulder dislocations and broken limbs by using bandages and empty fluid bags. One nurse actually had to remind me that the pharmacy had plenty of arm slings so I should not be wasting people’s money by telling them to buy bandages instead. My mind had become accustomed to the abnormal to such an extent that it became normal and I absolutely did not think there was any other way to get the job done.

There are many abnormal situations and circumstances in our lives that we have become used to and comfortable with to the extent that we do not see the need for change. It is possible for you to become used to poverty and lack. It is even possible to get used to mediocrity and failure. Ignore the problem long enough and it may no longer become a problem to you. The trouble is you will not be living the kind of life you should be living. “Making do” is not always a good thing.

Lastly, a problem that is not dealt with can lead to other problems. Unfortunately, problems are very social creatures and they will eagerly invite other problems into your life if you harbour them for too long. By not controlling one you may be opening the door to many others. It’s the domino effect: one action or lack of it in this case, can lead to many different consequences.

Dealing with problems – change your thinking

So how do you deal with problems? The first and best way is to change the way you think about problems. . “The way you see the problem is the problem.” I like to think of such things as “challenges” rather than problems because “Problem” is a dead-end word. It leaves no room for solutions. When you regard something as a challenge instead, it leaves your mind free to think about how to respond to it. If you see it as a temporary obstacle you are more likely to feel empowered and able to deal with it.

David Oyedepo and Chris Oyakhilome, who are both pastors, say that many people have asked them whether they ever have problems in their lives as they always seem to be having it easy and things are always working out for them. Their response is that they don’t remember having problems. They add that perhaps the problem came, but they did not recognize it. Their mindset is one of dealing with things as they come and knowing that they have the answer to anything that they face. As they are on God’s side, I’m sure they cannot fail to have answers.

Dealing with problems – focus on the desired outcome

A second way to deal with a problem is to focus on the solution instead. Focusing on the problem too much may actually make it more impossible to solve. This can make the problem so big in your mind that it obscures or overshadows any possible solution. Try instead to think about what life would be like if the problem were solved. This brings your creativity into play and your mind will soon find ways to solve the problem.

According to Albert Einstein “You can't solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it.” A third way to deal with problems, then, is to alter your viewpoint. One way of doing this is to distance yourself emotionally from the problem. Try looking at the problem as an impartial observer and not as someone actively involved in it. This technique will not only make the problem seem less daunting, but will also help you to find possible solutions. When you are emotionally involved in something it clouds your judgment and dulls your creativity.

 

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