Winning isn’t everything, but trying to win is.

When I was younger I remember hearing it all the time; At athletics days, swimming carnivals and weekend sports. Anywhere where there was any form of competition.

I have a problem with this saying. Here’s why…

When we don’t demand a persons absolute best effort, we ingrain an attitude that a mediocre performance is enough. It isn’t.

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing someone give up. Australia is an incredibly proud sporting nation – throwing in the towel goes against our culture. Saying winning isn’t everything may make someone feel better in the short term, but does damage in the long term. This isn’t only in relation to sport either. An academic pursuit,a career goal, a life long dream, all of these require a persons very best effort to achieve.

A determined and unwavering “effort” in all pursuits is critical behaviour that is essential in moulding a competitive life ethic, especially in our younger generations. If we are accepting mediocre performances, the will and desire we desperately need for our careers and professional lives won’t mature into what it should and needs to be.

In any work place, it would be fair to assume that you wouldn’t get a pat on the back for producing sub standard work. You might be reprimanded or even worse, lose your job. There is an expectation of excellence, anything less won’t have you scaling the heights of the company ladder.

Out of all the traits displayed by highly successful humans, athletes, professionals and leaders, determination and drive is, in my opinion, by far the most important. The ability to embrace  challenges and face them head on with a healthy level of gusto is crucial!

I believe that without stubborn determination and a “never say die – fight to the finish mindset”, I would have had a very different outcome when fighting Meningococcal disease at the age of 18.

Having a competitive mindset is the essential ingredient to achieving difficult, worthwhile goals.

I’ve always had a strong desire to win in anything I tried. I believe that desire translated on a pure level into my ability to fight when I was more likely to die than live. A profound will kicked in, just as it did when I was losing in tennis, under the pump playing football or a few strokes behind in a round of golf. When you have a fierce winning mindset, your thoughts don’t allow in negativity, it becomes simple – succeed, fight and persist at all costs.

Sure, I agree that winning isn’t everything. We will all fail at some point. But we can’t be forgiven for a lack of effort, there really isn’t any excuse.

Fight for what you want and fight hard because if you do, regardless of the result, there will be no regrets.