I was having a conversation recently with one of my friends and she said, “you really winning”. So, we started discussing “winning”. It was so thought provoking I told her that what would be my next post. What does it mean to be winning at life? I certainly don’t have all the answers but I know this much, winning does not look like one thing. Winning is not one ideal. It varies.
I think it starts with being happy with who you are. You should not compare yourself with others. Do not try to be anyone else or portray what you see on social media, in music videos or reality TV shows. Once you start doing this then you become unhappy with who you are. Don’t try to look like those men or women depicted in the media. More often than not, that stuff just isn’t real. Besides, we were not all meant to be on thing. For her (my friend), being able to stay home and care for and enjoy her kids/family, that`s winning. To others, it might not seem as such but the bottom line is winning varies from person to person.
Another thing is that we have been taught all our lives to go to school, work hard then get a job and work at it until the inevitable happens. What about living life? What about winning at life? How do you live a life worth living so that you can call it winning? Winning doesn’t mean you have a lot of money or fancy cars. Yes, being able to provide for yourself and your family is important. But, accumulating financial wealth is not all there is to life. Being happy is important too.
You might want to care for your family, another person is interested in home ownership, someone else might want to travel the world, while another wants to spend their time building homes for the needy. The point is that your dreams will vary, but it doesn’t mean that one person is winning over the other. It just means you are each winning in your own way. The minute you start to look at what you’re doing as your own success then you’re truly winning. But once you start to compare yourself with others and see their success as your failure, then that’s when you stop winning at life. In the discussion my friend said, “our culture pushes us to one idea and when our lives don’t mirror that we don’t know how to deal” and I concur. This is the reason some of us feel as if we have failed at life. What you need to do is ask yourself some simple questions for instance (and this list is clearly not exhaustive):
- Am I happy?
- Am I living up to my potential?
- Am I living a life that will enable a better life for my family?
- Am I helping others or is this life just about me?
- Am I living my dream?
When you consider these things and you can truly answer with a resounding “YES!” to one are all of these then I think you are winning at life. I know that for instance, sometimes, being happy and working at a job are not congruent but you have to weigh the risks and rewards. Remember to count the small wins in life. You can have small wins at a job you are merely enduring. All the small victories matter. I had to count the small wins at my previous job. I think that’s why I kept winning and also people on the outside thought I was winning and so were shocked when I told them of the next phase of my life. The thing is to realize when it`s time to move on (see my previous post https://kennysviewpoint.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/when-do-you-know/). These small wins will one day lead to a great victory. Or maybe you will have a life of continuous small wins. Either way, it’s “winning”. Life is tough but we can all win.
I don’t imagine I`m sharing anything novel here. I believe we all have heard this in one form or the other but, sometimes we need a reminder. I was listening to a clip by Dascha Polanco from Orange is the new Black and she said (I will paraphrase as I don’t remember the exact quote) – that just because you are not perfect that doesn’t mean you are a failure. This is what I hope we will all realize. Once we acknowledge this, I do believe we can consider ourselves “winning at life”.