We all have our own definition of winning. But as Aristotle famously said, excellence is not an end but a habit. It is a series of standards and defaults that one must continually meet. In other words, just because you’ve won something, doesn’t mean you’re a winner. It just means you’ve won. There is still work left to be done.
With that in mind, these are the standards I aspire to, that I have seen and admired in other winners past and present. I’m sure you have your own.
*A winner can communicate.
*A winner was once an apprentice (even if only from afar). They do their best to honor that debt.
*A winner values time over money.
*A winner studies what they do. Their own personal experience is not enough.
*A winner reads (at the very least, biographies or audiobooks).
*A winner is decent to strangers—answering questions, giving directions, picking up stuff that’s dropped, opening doors.
*A winner takes pain, maybe even delights in it a little.
*A winner doesn’t “exercise,” they train in something (martial arts, running, swimming, biking, cross fit, boxing, weights, whatever).
*A winner can influence through silence.
*A winner controls—or at least can articulate—their vices. Particularly those that may conflict with their craft or competition.
*A winner picks up the check.
*A winner travels light.
*A winner has a routine. Maybe they get up early, maybe they work late into the night. But they have a routine.
*A winner doesn’t get distracted by outrage porn—they’re busy dealing with their own problems.
*A winner has a working knowledge of history (particularly what relates to their field).
*A winner respects other winners and relates to them.
*A winner pays people to do what they can’t do. Winners are part of—or rather, leaders of—a team..
*A winner has their own moral code (in a good way: they adhere to a set of principles).
*A winner doesn’t recognize “weekends.” They often forget what day it is…because it doesn’t matter.
*A winner turns procrastination and other such weaknesses to a motivating advantage.
*A winner doesn’t need credit, it is enough to see his work out in the world.
*A winner doesn’t get flustered, they remain calm in the face of adversity and stress. They are the calm.
*A winner doesn’t talk about their plans, they keep them to themselves and then do it.
*A winner doesn’t stop—neither at success or after failure.
*A winner wants other people to be successful too. Often, they want this more than the other people want it for themselves.
*A winner has an outlet other than work.
*A winner can be anyone. Why not you?
What else does a winner do? You tell me.