What does winning mean to you? Would you consider yourself a winner?
The other day, our son Joshua randomly said, “Daddy, I don't like competition”.
I have to admit to being startled at first but this got me thinking because I had to find a way of practically explaining what winning is to our 4.5 years old and how it relates to competition.
Here is my general high-level thought on winning –
Having a clear idea of what winning actually looks like for your circumstance is critically important.
Many think of winning as purely beating another person, team or a competitor. And yes, it can be those things too.
However, as we all run individual races in our lives, this post focuses on the latter and can be applied to the former.
Here's an example – Let's say you are thinking about your life and believe that living healthily is the key to a long and fulfilled life.
Where would you begin? How would you measure your success? How will you know you are winning?
I read THIS GREAT BOOK a while ago and it encapsulated the “ABC OF Winning” into the acronym “OST”, which I have extended into a more memorable “POST” acronym for when we think about our daily life challenges and goals:
Purpose Objective Strategy Tactics
Let's dig into each one:
This is all about answering the Why question. This is the most important question you could ever answer. Why do you dream about achieving a particular goal? And why does it matter to your life and that of others?
If you're able to articulate and write your Why down (and I mean on paper using ink), then this sense of purpose will act as the fuel that keeps you going when things get tough.
In the above health example, the “purpose” would be “to achieve a long and fulfilled life”.
This is simply What you want to achieve or where you want to get to.
The key to setting effective goals is to make them broadly open and far into the future, but make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) as you work backward and re-engineer your success.
Focusing on the health example above, a SMART objective could be to ‘lose 10kg of body weight by the 31st December 2018'.
How high you set your goals is also another consideration. I personally don't set mediocre goals and prefer goals that stretch me and will inspire.
You can set a goal in 3 zones –
i) the Comfortable zone (aka danger zone),
ii) the Uncomfortable zone (aka stretch zone), and
iii) the Crazy zone.
The sweet spot is to set it in the uncomfortable zone. I also make sure my goals are written down on paper and kept in a place that is visible.
This is so that I can see them daily and they remain fixated in my mind. Writing it down makes you commit to it.
It is only when you are absolutely clear about your objective(s) that you can then begin to design and execute a clear strategy to deliver on them.
Your objectives help you define What winning looks like.
This is one of the most misused words in business. It is often confused with Objectives and sometimes with Tactics.
Crafting an effective strategy requires a Clarity of mind. For our Health example above, the Strategy for losing 10kg could be ‘Dieting' (Eat less and exercise more).
Strategies should ideally be kept basic and simple. Your strategy is your How and helps give you a high chance of Winning.
These are the actions or daily steps you put in place in order to deliver on your Strategy and achieve your Objectives.
For our health example, your tactics could include using an app to track your calories, keeping your running shoes by your bedside, doing a 5k run per week, visualising a slimmer version of yourself (if that's what you desire) etc.
The tactics essentially help you call your intangible thoughts into the physical world as you are taking steps to make your goals a reality.
The need for an accountability partner and a Team is also of critical importance in achieving anything you set out to achieve.
A good mindset to have in this process is the discipline and mentality of ‘Always Be Closing‘ (ABC) and getting things done.
Of all these ingredients of Winning, Strategy is King. Like your objectives, they must be written down and repeatedly communicated with everyone who has an interest in what you are trying to achieve.
However, without Purpose, your efforts will be futile.
Grab this book called Winners: And How They Succeed for even more insights.
What do you think? What objectives are you fired up about achieving in your personal life right now? please comment below.
Do please share this post if you found it useful, and remember, in all things be thankful and Seek Joy.