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My Take on Winning

Winning is the theme of the latest edition of the India Today Conclave, the country’s best known global thought platform. The festival of ideas brings forth winners and visionaries from every walk of life, who come forward to share their human experience to make the world a wiser and brighter place to live.

The past 12 Conclaves were widely acclaimed for the quality of thought and discussion.

Through this article, I am going to share my own thoughts on winning.

Winning is important, but trying is even more important

I believe that there are no shortcuts to winning. If you do not have a clear-cut strategy drawn out on a chalkboard and if your efforts remain substandard, it will be hard if not impossible to experience winning.

A lot of people emphasize on winning alone, forgetting that regardless of the outcome, you’ve got to try first. Pour your heart and soul into whatever it is that you’re trying to win.

Winning can be at times a slow, arduous process

Contrary to popular belief, the road to winning can be long and uncertain. As part of the journey, you must encounter and experience pain, frustration, and loneliness.

Even if you are not guaranteed of a win, you will still be able to cover enough ground through your hard work and effort.

You cannot win unless you overcome adverse circumstances or obstacles

Remember that the roadblocks you may encounter are there for a reason. If you want something badly enough, you have to try a lot harder than those who don’t.

Do not allow your personal challenges to bring you down in your quest to win.

Winners rarely quit

When the going gets tough, don’t whine or give up; instead, just work harder! Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, never complained … even if the fans spit on him.

The bottom line is you can spend your time cribbing or playing like a pro. The latter is likely to be more effective.

It’s okay to lose 

Talk of women’s figure skating and there isn't a better contender than South Korea’s Yuna Kim. As a brand ambassador for the sport and the Olympic Committee in Korea, she was touted as a clear favorite to win gold at this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics. This was supposedly her final outing before retirement.

Unfortunately for Yuna, her dream of winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals was dashed by Russia’s 17-year-old Adelina Sotnikova, who handed over one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport.

Only Sonja Henie and Katarina Witt have accomplished the rare feat.

Kim, the sport that she is, stood relieved that her illustrious figure skating career was over.

The learning is: you can’t win them all.

Winning as a team

Sometimes you may have to sacrifice your personal goals or accomplishments in the larger interest of the team. You can’t win alone every time.

Don’t let winning get to your head

Finally, winning shouldn’t become an unhealthy routine. As Randy Pausch said in his last lecture, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

I couldn’t agree more!

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