What Constitutes a Real Winner?

By: Rick Warren

In every area of life, whether in the world of sports, the workplace, or in recreational activities, we enjoy the experience of being a winner.

Winning an important contract, earning a well-deserved promotion, or receiving a significant pay raise all can bring us much happiness and fulfillment as business and professional people. As spectators, we still feel like winners when our favorite sports team triumphs over its greatest rival. Many of us, even when playing casual games at home with family and friends, strive to be the winner.

But is that what being a “winner” truly means? Could it be that there is something more to winning than prevailing over a competitor, or scoring more points than your opponent does? Here are some thoughts about what a true winner is:

A winner… respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn something from them;

A loser… resents those who are superior and rationalizes their achievements.

A winner… explains;

A loser… explains away, making excuses.

A winner… says, “We must find a way”;

A loser… says, “There is no way.”

A winner… goes through a problem, working toward a solution;

A loser… tries to go around a problem, seeking to avoid it entirely.

A winner… says, “There should be a better way to do it”;

A loser… says, “That’s the way it has always been done here.”

A winner… shows he is sorry by making amends for it;

A loser… says “I’m sorry,” but repeats the same offense the next time.

A winner… knows what to fight for and what to compromise on;

A loser… compromises on what he should not, and fights for what is not worth fighting for.

A winner… works harder than a loser, and has more time;

A loser… is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.

A winner… is not afraid of losing;

A loser… is secretly afraid of winning.

A winner… makes and honors commitments;

A loser… makes promises – but then ignores them.

The Bible also offers some challenging thoughts about winning and losing. For instance, the apostle Paul wrote about the importance of becoming prepared to achieve victory: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” (1 Corinthians 9:24). In another passage, Jesus warned about the risk of losing – even if you “win”: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”(Mark 8:36).

Based on the thoughts above, which are you – a winner or a loser?

© 2012, Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Adapted from a column by Dr. Rick Warren, author of numerous books, including the highly acclaimed, The Purpose-Drive Life, which has been translated into many languages worldwide. It affirms the importance of a carefully considered, clearly expressed purpose to guide everyday life. It has been named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century.


About Pedro Heizer

I'm a person of simple taste, all I need is some country music, Batman, Star Wars, sports, coffee, and most importantly Jesus Christ, because what profits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? View all posts by Pedro Heizer

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