After watching the recent Women’s World Cup game, it really got me thinking about how amazing it must have felt for the US team to celebrate such hard-earned success on the field. These women have spent most of their lives perfecting the game of soccer. They didn’t just win the world cup, they must have felt like they were winning at life.
In my short 37 years of life, I feel like I could have accomplished more and it really used to bother me. I was tired of already regretting things that I didn’t do or accomplish. Quite frankly, I felt like I just wasn’t winning at life.
So what does winning at life mean exactly? For me, it included external and material successes such as owning a beautiful home, making good money and always fitting into my skinny jeans. It’s interesting how it took decades of all types of wins and losses in order to for me to realize that what I considered my ‘successes’ actually didn’t mean much at all. It was a false sense of accomplishment, a sort of empty happiness. I’ve gone through many humbling experiences, things that have brought me to my knees, figuratively and literally. Because of this, I’ve redefined how I win at life.
1. Be honest. Being honest is being respectful. When I am honest with myself, no matter how difficult it can be, I am respecting myself. When I am honest with others, I am showing respect for them. This creates trust, a basic building block of strong relationships.
2. Be healthy. By taking care of the mind and the body, I start to create the perfect ‘home’ for great things to happen. When I am operating at tip-top shape and capacity, I can achieve just about whatever I desire. So I constantly challenge my brain and treat my body well. They are the only ones I have.
3. Set Goals. If you get into the car and start driving with no destination, where will you end up? Setting goals is about creating focus. Remember any moments where you were really focused on accomplishing something? How did that feel? For me, it makes me feel like I have a purpose.
4. Don’t think outside of the box. Get rid of the box. This is a tough one because there are boxes everywhere, to create order and comfort. But once I begin to challenge myself and constantly place myself in that space just outside my comfort zone, we start to get rid of the box. Living outside of my comfort zone creates growth and expansion, two things that are crucial for success.
5. Be generous. Opening up to people by giving time and energy creates this flow of positive energy between people. It’s not always reciprocated, but by implementing a consistent practice of being generous without always expecting it in return, I start to create a higher level of positive energy for myself, which has long-term benefits.
6. Be present. We live in a very reactionary world. I do try to make a conscious effort to be present throughout the day. It allows me to be much more in tune with my thoughts and feelings. I have learned to process things a bit slower and more rational. And honestly, it feels liberating to move away from always living in the past or worrying about the future.
"Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself." - Paul Bryant