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Story about Winning, Persistence and Lessons Learned

Sitting and musing about the past, the current and the future today. As I was thinking about how the things we do influence our outcomes in life, I was first reminded of an experience back in the late 70’s when I was first learning to snow ski.

Seems our trip coordinators offered a race course for our tour group to race. Two racers at a time and you could race as many times as you wanted within a the allotted time period. The winner with the faster time would receive their very own case of Coor’s Beer at the party that night. (This was back when Coor’s beer was truly outstanding and only available in certain states.)

While I wasn’t driven by the Beer 🙂 I was driven by the competition with my best friend. He was an Auburn guy and I was an LSU guy so we had to compete for the glory of our schools.

We went head to head at least five times during the time allotted for racing the course. And, we got faster and faster as we ran the course since neither of us wanted to come in second. And, due to the competitive nature of our racing – I scored the fastest time of the event.

And, while I enjoyed the win and actual celebrating with my buddy as we enjoyed the progress we had both made by focusing on the goal of winning, I didn’t realize at the moment the major life lesson being taught from this fun time on the ski mountain.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot about the other guy – the arrogant one. Interestingly I don’t even remember his name since he was such a jerk at the party.

The facts are interesting. He was a seasoned skier and quite good. He felt he was naturally better than everyone else at the event – and told everyone who would listen how good he was. And, since he was so good, he only needed to ski the course once and would win. He came in third behind me and my buddy!

So how did we win against this “better competitor?”

First, we did not think about him at all in our match runs. We were focused upon doing our best and hopefully winning the race.

Second, we took advantage of the opportunity to compete as often as we wanted and got in five runs.

Third, if was all fun to us. We enjoyed the opportunity to compete and to take on the challenge of the moment – to compete the ski course without falling or missing a pole turn.

Finally, due to the strong desire to win, we were both focused upon the winning rather than playing it safe. Therefore, we excelled in our efforts.

So, what is the lesson from all this fun and exercise?

First, you must be persistent in your activities and actions. Looking for opportunities for meeting a challenge head on and staying focused upon the objective.

Second, playing it safe is for losers. It is very difficult to get ahead or win while playing conservatively or taking no risks. (Trust me when I say – at this time in my skiing life, this race course was a first time thing for me and the risks were huge from z notice point of view.) If there are no risks to overcome, then the return will be very small.

Third, you must leave your fears behind when going for the gold – your goals, objectives or your own personal prize. Fear could have prevented us from running this course to begin with and we would have never felt the pride of winning.

Finally, never assume you can win something of value without giving a maximum effort. Remember the arrogant one in my story. He probably was a better skier and should have won – yet, being arrogant, he failed to take the competition seriously and only went through the motions expecting to win without the effort or competing.

Remember this story as you prepare for a future effort. To many people are giving up too early and get off the success track due to fears, lack of confidence or an attitude based upon “I can’t win in this economy.”

You can win in today’s economic environment if you are willing to play the game in the first place. Stay focused on the goal or objective, work hard in the actions needed to win, take calculated risks for greater rewards, and most importantly, have some fun as you work for your goals.

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Voss Graham

CEO / Sr Business Advisor at InnerActive Consulting Group Inc
Voss Graham is an Organizational Architect with 30+ years of experience designing sustainable business growth for organizations of all sizes. Creating the Strategic Focus with the Executive Leadership Teams, he uses Systems & Process to ensure the Drivers for Business Growth are Executed at the Highest Levels. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings - contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.

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Voss Graham

Voss Graham is an Organizational Architect with 30+ years of experience designing sustainable business growth for organizations of all sizes. Creating the Strategic Focus with the Executive Leadership Teams, he uses Systems & Process to ensure the Drivers for Business Growth are Executed at the Highest Levels. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings - contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.