How to Start Winning at Life

How to Start Winning at Life

‘One of the scariest moments of my life was the day I realized I can have exactly the life I want to have.’ – Patrick Bet-David, CEO of PHP Agency, Inc.

When Patrick’s uncle passed away, he shared his thoughts on a successful life. ‘You know what to do,’ he says, ‘Life goes by quickly.’ 

The sooner you make the right decisions you have control over, the sooner you can start winning to your dream life.

The sooner you decide to pursue greatness, the sooner you will become great. This can be a great businessperson, a great student, or a great spouse.

Let’s start with this:

We all know what to do. We’ve been blessed with the awareness of the good and the bad. The problem is we struggle at getting the results we want to see. 

Sometimes we struggle with ourselves, and we blame ourselves for a lack of significant progress.

But what if the key to getting the big win is having consistent small wins?

But here’s the truth: Significant progress starts with insignificant progress. You’d better be satisfied with small wins if you want the big win.

The Power of Small Wins

In 2011, the Harvard Business Review published an article called The Power of Small Wins. In the article, Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer argue that the best way to motivate employees to do creative work is to help them take a step forward every day meaningfully.

Learn how to live meaningfully: 3 Simple Tips that Lead to a Fulfilling Life

Progress in meaningful life is the largest contributor to a positive inner work life. Small wins push people towards higher levels of achievement, commitment, and the effects carry forward day after day. 

So in order to start winning, progress is key. But where do you get progress?

What You Need to be Winning

According to the article, you need two things to make progress in what you do:

  1. Catalysts: actions that directly support your goals, including help from others
  2. Nourishers: events such as shows of respect and words of encouragement

The concepts are simple. In order to move towards your goals, take action that support your goals. Ask for help. Be in an environment that enables you.

Except here’s the mistake most people make with catalysts:

Most people confuse inaction with action. They spend too long ‘getting ready’.

Let’s say you’re trying to get an ‘A’ in calculus. You can read the textbook, ask the teacher, or ask a friend. But if you don’t do so with the intention of taking action afterwards, the asking would have been pointless.

Deep down you know that the only way to get good is through disciplined practice, and the pain of being wrong until you’re right.

Reading a book is not action. Using the book is. Watching a video is not action. Doing what the video says is. Talking to a friend about what you want to do isn’t action. Doing it is.

The more action you take. The more progress you’ll make and the more you will start winning at what you do.

What about nourishers?

Nourishers have everything to do with the environment. If you are in a low-standard environment, having high standards is exponentially more difficult than if you were in a high standards environment.

Surround yourself with nourishers by being mindful of the friends that you are with, the places you find yourself, and the messages you are getting from the people around you. 

An enabling environment is key to making progress.

What will Cause You to Stop Winning

If two things would keep you from making progress, it would be:

1. Inhibitors: Actions that do not support your goals

2. Toxins: discouraging events that negatively affect your emotions, motivation and perception

The most common inhibitors include distraction, lack of clarity, and lack of purpose. 

For example, If you don’t know your goals, you won’t know what to do. If you don’t know how to do something, you won’t be doing the right things. If you are distracted, you won’t be doing anything at all.

You will not achieve your potential unless you have a clear vision, a clear road-map and focus.

In the same way, it is much harder to succeed if you have people or circumstances that are bringing you down. 

Some people choose to train their mental toughness so they don’t get brought down by others. Gary Vee is one such example.

If you are able to remove toxins and inhibitors, you will lead a much more productive life. You will start winning more.

But wait, there’s more:

How Winning Gets Better

Small wins naturally turn into big wins over time.

Progress also has self-reinforcing benefits that compound over time. To show the effects of compounding, if you had 1 cent in the bank today but you increased your bank account by 1% every day, you would have over $59 trillion dollars in ten years.

In fact, Warren Buffett is the perfect example of how a long-term orientation coupled with consistently correct decisions can keep you winning for decades.

But this isn’t new. 

In 1990, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced: Cheek-sent-me-high) published Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. In the book, the University of Chicago researcher argues that the human experience is most enjoyed when we are in a state of flow. 

Flow is when we are doing something and time feels like it is passing by quickly.

Csikszentmihalyi says activities that provide flow are balanced between difficulty and skill level. In other words, in order to experience flow, you need to be challenged to grow.

What does this mean for you?

The reason why you are not living your ideal life may be because you lack meaningful and consistent wins in your life.

If you can start improving yourself every day and start making better decisions every day, you will live better over time. Chances are you already know what to do, but for one reason or another, you are not doing them.

Are you afraid that you’ll fail? If you are, Mike Vestil, successful internet marketer and entrepreneur has this message for you:

‘Failure is fine because the worst failure is at the end of your life when you meet the person you could have been if you weren’t too afraid to take a chance’ – Mike Vestil, Entrepreneur, Author, YouTuber.

So start taking action today. Here are three things you need to begin your journey towards a life filled with zeal.

  1. The right mindset
  2. Meaningful action
  3. Habitual action
Take Action:
1. Identify and get rid of toxins and inhibitors in your life
2. Identify and acquire more catalysts and nourishers in your life

Learn how to live with purpose, zeal and take action: 

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