Motivation – Developing a Winner’s Mindset

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A certain hermit by the name of Manfred once said to me “Son, you can be anything you want to be in this life, you can do anything you want to do, and you can achieve anything you want to achieve, if only you believe.” I had heard these words before, no doubt, but something in the way he said it, the stern voice and sure look in his eye made me wonder does he know something I dont?

I have been wondering ever since and have been trying to live by his words

What is motivation? And what is a winner’s mindset?

I challenge these questions in the article below, but first let’s look at why we should seek to get motivated in the first place:

  • Health Benefits: Motivated people are usually healthier than ordinary people — they love life and as a result have a reason to stay healthy. They have experienced the highs and lows of life and prefer a healthy balanced lifestyle.
  • Attraction: Motivated people are magnetic — everybody wants to be around them, who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s always happy whether it rains or shines?
  • Productivity: Motivated people get things done — they have a can do attitude. They show more anticipation for the day ahead and tackle each task with strong passion and enthusiasm.
  • Positivity: Motivated people are optimists — they have learnt that optimism opens more doors in life than pessimism does. Their approach to challenges is different and they adapt better to change. They see everything good or bad as an opportunity to learn and grow.
  • Energy: Motivated people have more energy and require less sleep than ordinary people. This is not due to a caffeine rush or an adrenaline spike but it is a genuine natural excitement and enthusiasm for living.

Being motivated is a choice and an outlook not a situation or position.

Being motivated

One of my favourite quotes by Zig Ziglar is that “You cannot get motivated to succeed if you do not know your motives”, and by Laurence Peter “If you don’t know where you’re going you might end up somewhere else.” These words could be no further from the truth.

Both quotes inspire action, both inspire vision, both inspire goals. It is important to have motives and a clear visual outline of what you want out of life because once you know what you want, you will figure out how to get it.

Knowing your motives allows you to discover your values, your dreams and your passions

Everybody has goals, but not everybody’s goals are the same. There are primarily two reasons people get motivated:

1. It is the desire for gain

2. It is the fear of loss

1. Susan is a wife, a mother, a worker, has a stable job, financial security, a wonderful family, and a great social life -but she has health problems

2. Helen is a single mother, waiter, barely making ends meat – but is in good health

Helen, we presume, could be motivated by the desire for gain in the areas of financial stability, social security, companionship, status, recognition etc, while Susan would be motivated more by the desire to maintain her current lifestyle and thus would look at adopting healthier habits such as getting in shape, eating right, managing her relationships at home, her productivity at work, and her social status.

Both would have motivating factors and thus both would have goals to set and achieve.


Goals are carrots, they are stepping stones to achieving dreams, they are checkpoints, milestones, they are the things that bring us closer to success.

To have goals is to have direction and a compass. a road map to a destiny. Goals say ‘In order to get that first succeed at this’ and ‘In order to be that first be this’. Goals are necessary and are the starting point. Once you have clearly defined goals your vision becomes clearer and the action steps to reach it becomes more practical.

If your dream is a higher position at work, you set smaller goals in place that will help you achieve it. You could start by brainstorming and writing down what tasks the job will demand of you and at what capacity, experience, education and skills etc.

Once you have it written down you then select which ones you can do right now and in your present capacity. You could take extra classes, volunteer for work projects to improve product knowledge and gain additional skills.

A goal is a lighthouse, a dock, a checkpoint, something to get to that will allow you to move on successfully to the next, gradually making progress to the bigger objective.

The Winner’s Attitude

Being a winner is not a once off thing. It is a series of habits that will eventually make you a consistent person in every endeavor you make. It is a character trait, winners have a positive attitude, an enthusiastic spirit, and bold self-confidence

I will start this section with a few of my favourite quotes:

“Control your destiny or someone else will” ~ Jack Welch

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing” ~ Walt Disney

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves” ~ Garth Henrichs

Success breeds success

When you try something you thought you couldn’t do before and actually do it, the confidence you gain from accomplishing that goal will allow you to go boldly and confidently onto the next. Small goals lead to more small goals and by the time you look back, you have made significant progress toward the top of the staircase.

When you get into the habit of winning you develop a winner’s mindset. A mindset that says I cannot lose, for I will give it my all until I succeed at this. Winners are not born but they are made — through small efforts great things can be accomplished.

Smaller goals

A successful businessman and friend of mine once told me his secret to success: Scoring smaller goals.

It didn’t seem like much at the time but he further went on to say he discovered early that his confidence grew whenever he won or excelled at something. No matter how small it was. This attitude helped him quit smoking, train for and finish a successful marathon, and compete at a local triathlon

He says this attitude helped him every day in winning minor goals and when he beat a challenge or jumped a hurdle or broke his personal best, his confidence soared.

He further went on to say that keeping fit improves his mood, confidence, physical energy, and mental agility – traits he says are vital to his success in business, relationships, family, life, hobbies etc.

And I agree with him, and have since developed this attitude myself

1. Chase Something

Small, big, anything, something you can excel in, something you can win in, something apart from the bigger goal -a hobby perhaps, a sports club, art, photography, learning an instrument, travel. Anything you thought you couldn’t do or were scared to do you should do it. That riff you you’ve always wanted to string? Try it, and see how far you get with it.

The mental focus and dedication that will be required for you to succeed in the task will develop in you an attitude of discipline and the mindset of a champion that says ‘Nothing is impossible’

2. Do not fear failure

Everything in life is a risk

While Henry Ford today is known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t always a success. In fact, his early businesses failed him and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.

Abraham Lincoln surely goes down in history as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, but his life wasn’t always awesome. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (now if you’re not familiar with military ranks, a private is as low as you can get.) He didn’t stop failing there though. Afterwards he started numerous businesses that utterly failed and was defeated in numerous runs for office before he became president.

Billionaire and philanthropist Warren Buffet wasn’t accepted at Harvard University because he was told he just wasn’t smart enough. If he believed them, he would have never been the man he later became to be. His rejection was his fuel for success.

NBA star and basketball legend Michael Jordan was rejected several times from the High school basketball team and was told he just wasn’t good enough. He proved them all wrong and later went to say “I have failed over and over and over in my life and that is why I am successful.”

Winners often go through tough times before they succeed. The idea is not to avoid failure, but it is to keep trying and moving forward and out of your comfort zone to get what you want.

3. Motivate Someone

Speak words of success everyday

When you motivate others you speak positive words, words of success and encouragement. Positive talk in your vocabulary makes you think constantly about what you are saying and you eventually believe it. Spoken words become reality and positive talk leads to positive outcomes. “I have never seen a pessemistic general win a battle” ~ Dwight David Eisenhower

4. Learn From The Best

Legendary boxing champion and social activist Muhammad Ali made the slogan “I am the greatest” his personal brand. Now it’s arguable he wasn’t the greatest boxer in his time but he said it so often that he made us believe him.

He also said “To be a great champion you must believe you are, If you’re not, pretend you are”. and later confessed “I figured that if I said it enough, I’d convince the world that I really was the greatest.” And that he did, and then worked his butt off to make it a reality.

Try to surround yourself around positive people, people who inspire you. Who challenge you. If you cannot then surround yourself with self help and motivational books. If you’re more modern and are on twitter follow thought leaders, motivational people, quotation curators and inspirational individuals. The constant stream of positivity and encouragement will leave you motivated and encouraged everyday.

5. Get Your Mind Right

Winning is a mind-set. Winners constantly share their pearls of wisdom to us but we seldom believe them because somehow, we think their just extraordinary human beings. We forget that they are ordinary people like you and me who worked hard to make their dreams a reality.

If we can look at our past and look at ourselves now, we will realise that nothing can stop us, our limitations are simply illusions, hurdles that must be jumped and conquered. If we can convince ourselves that we were born to win we will eventually win. It is for us to stop doubting ourselves and proceed onwards with our success

The world is our playground. Let’s go score some goals

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