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Win More Often by Not Trying To
When we want something badly, we put ourselves at odds to achieve it.
What is hard for most people to accept is that obsessing on success is a surefire way not to attain it. Instead of focusing on the process required to attain success, those who fixate on being seen as great or on winning set themselves up for failure.
We don’t control the outcomes, accolades, or the victory. We only control the steps it takes to get there.
The unspoken truth is that we win most often and achieve our greatest accomplishments when we don’t fixate on winning or set our sights on being the best. Study long-time winners and GOATs (Greatest of All Time) in any field, and you will quickly learn that they don’t win by wanting to. They win and become great by focusing on the steps it takes to perform each and every moment with excellence. They win most by earning the right to win through each successive action. Or, as legendary coach Bill Walsh liked to say, do the right things, and “the score will take care of itself.”
When we tell ourselves we need to perform at the highest level, we normally don’t. The desire to win is essential, but the focus on winning gets in the way. Any time the victory or triumph becomes the center of our attention, we take our eyes off of execution. The myopic goal of winning can be a powerful distraction to success.
Those who commit to a process that values the small steps of excellence outperform those who fixate on winning. The lesson is clear: When you master yourself by mastering the process necessary to win, you will rack up victories. As it turns out, knowing how to perform at your best is more important than your desire to be the best.