Are you a winner or a loser?

By on September 17, 2007 7:31:28 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Draginol

Join Date 03/2001
+102

As I get older (read more experienced socially) I have gotten a lot better in determining whether someone is a winner or a loser. Without knowing how much they make, how well they get along with their families, how in order they have their lives, I can usually tell in the course of a conversation whether the person is basically a winner or a loser.

So how can you tell? Here's some things I look for:

A Winner…

  1. Leaves a given situation better than they found it. If you loan them something or let them use something of yours, you'll get it back in as good or typically better condition than when you loaned it.
  2. Never takes advantage of the good will of others. Winners see the good will of others as a gift to be honored and will respect it.
  3. Takes responsibility for failure without making excuses. If something goes wrong, they cut to the chase and will say "I blew it, it's my fault I will make it better."
  4. Takes the long view of things. Winners are very good at looking at things from the long term. One of the reasons why winners tend to have money is because of this trait.
  5. Has a strong sense of delayed gratification. Winners can control their short term desires in order to build a better future. For instance, proving that money isn't what separates a winner from a loser, a winner's home will almost always be bigger and have nicer things in it even if they make the same amount of money as their loser friend because the loser will have squandered their money on junk.
  6. Sees themselves as masters of their own destiny. Winners are captains of their own lives. Whether they are poor or disabled, they will still see themselves as being in control.
  7. Tries to learn how successful people became successful. Winners learn to recognize other winners and see what they can learn from them.
  8. Knows life ain't fair and deals with it. Winners know that life is indifferent and random. They will adjust their course based on the obstacles put in their way.

A Loser…

  1. Tends to leave a given situation worse than they found it. Ever loan someone a car or let someone borrow one of your things or stay at your house? The quickest way of seeing if someone is a loser is if they trash your stuff. Loan a loser a car and it'll come back with a stain on it. Loan them a tool and it'll come back broken. Let them stay at your place and they'll leave it a mess.
  2. Will exploit the good will of others. Losers are fundamentally inconsiderate and this is a big reason to what dooms them to being a loser. "Success has many fathers" is true in so many ways. To be successful you need people to help you and losers will always ensure that people aren't helping them because they will squander the good will of others before they can get very far.
  3. Makes excuses for every set back and blames others for failure. Another easy way to spot a loser is the plethora of excuses they give. Nothing is ever their fault. You can even get an idea to what degree of loser the person is by how ridiculous their excuses are. The greater the length the person goes to avoid taking responsibility the bigger the loser.
  4. Thinks only of the here and now with little thought of the future. Losers always seem to lack any foresight. They'll do things that have inevitable severe consequences and yet be oblivious to those consequences because they can't think more than a few days ahead.
  5. Has to have things now. One of the reasons why losers never seem to have money is that they have no self-control. A loser won't have any sort of investments or savings but will have an Xbox 360, Play Station 3, and a Wii and then bitch about not having any money. Losers seem to consume toys and junk like others breath air. As a result, they never build any sort of assets.
  6. Sees themselves as victims or having "bad luck". Nothing screams "loser" louder than someone saying how some authority figure "had it out for them." Please. While there are certainly bad actors out there, nearly always it's just a loser trying to argue how they just got screwed rather than recognizing that maybe they should have done what they were supposed to be. "Oh, she had it out for me, she was just waiting for me to show up twice in a row stoned so that she could fire me!"
  7. Thinks successful people were just lucky. Losers have envy down pat. It rarely if ever crosses a loser's mind that they might learn something from winners. That's because they think winners are just lucky. A loser is good at finding a minor obstacle and using it as an excuse to fail. "Oh, if only I could sing, then I could be a rock star and be rich! If I could sing then I wouldn't be living in this dump." Life is a bit like a race in the sense that from the end of high school on you see increasing differences between the different people in terms of lifestyles. Some people certainly get head starts because of mom or dad helping them. But over time, life has a way of sorting things out quite a bit. If you've become successful in some way, the differences between you and others may be quite significant. So when if you run into a contemporary, you can usually tell without asking about their background if they're a loser by how they react. If they behave enviously or use the term "luck" several times then odds are they're a loser. In the few times where I have inquired about what they're up to, sure enough, they're a twice-divorced, semi-dead beat dad working at some crappy job in which their boss is "screwing them over" living in a crappy apartment (but with a state of the art cell phone and Playstation 3 of course).
  8. Worries about what is "fair". Nothing is more annoying than people who think there is some sort of objective "fairness" to life. Here's a quick way to know if you (the reader) are a loser or a winner: Are you making enough money where you currently work? If you feel you're underpaid, then a winner will work harder to show demonsratable results and failing to get appreciation for their hard work will find another job. A loser, by contrast, will rationalize working less and screwing off more at their job because they're not paid well enough (which due to #4 means they'll always be a low paid drone because they don't recognize the logical consequences of that strategy).

What's amazing is how easy it is to spot winners and losers. It's usually incredibly obvious within moments of meeting someone. Most people aren't losers. But it's not a gradient or anything like that. Those people who fall into the loser category tend to be full-hog into that category (i.e. meets almost all the criteria in a big way). That's what always shocks me is that losers don't just have one or two of these traits, they almost always have all of them.

As an employer, I've employed my share of losers (I'm getting better in the interview process). I've seen people who have had every opportunity completely squander our good will and blindingly sabotage their own futures through an amazing lack of foresight, victim-role playing and lack of self control.

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September 17, 2007 8:43:24 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums
So do you think winners and losers are born or made?  Can a loser learn to be a winner? 
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September 17, 2007 8:57:26 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Winner... needs a interview \ job.   
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September 17, 2007 9:06:14 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
So do you think winners and losers are born or made?  Can a loser learn to be a winner? 


Made, and can become winners if they CHOOSE to.
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September 17, 2007 9:15:15 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I think I'm a winner.  I hang out with people I think are winners.  Winners know who and what they are. Winners are successful whether they succeed or not; but they usually succeed.  When they don't, it's not through lack of trying. 
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September 17, 2007 9:18:04 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I think I'm a winner. I hang out with people I think are winners. Winners know who and what they are. Winners are successful whether they succeed or not; but they usually succeed. When they don't, it's not through lack of trying.


Great point Z ..sidenote.. hanging with some good speelers can be just as influential too    
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September 17, 2007 9:21:54 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
Winner.

A thought that perhaps fall's under three?

Winners: Learn from their mistakes/failures in an effort not to repeat them.

Funny, I was reading an old blog post of your's today along similar lines.

In all my years of personal readings of success literature, rarely have I seen much discussion about failure. Even though it is one of best ways to learn. Example: In management courses we covered at least twice as many business failure case studies as successes.
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September 17, 2007 11:36:08 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Great point Z ..sidenote.. hanging with some good speelers can be just as influential too

No, it doesn't always rub off...

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September 18, 2007 12:07:37 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums
I don't necessarily agree with the money thing. On many of your points actually, but the fixation with money=winner for sure.

Ryan and I suck at money. I know why I suck at managing money. My dad was the "financial guru" of the house, and he passed away before I understood that I needed to have those skills.

Now that we're adults and working on this together, we've totally made mistakes in managing our money. The thrill of having REAL jobs negated all logic at first. We've done lots of reading and research on issues that pertain to our financial situation, and we're taking steps to remedy the mistakes that we've made and get on track.

I tend to take a more affective view of what makes a winner--personal qualities versus a Rolls in the garage and three homes. I've known of several people like that (with all the "good stuff"), and I haven't been impressed by them as people at all.

Maybe I listen to too much country music. That could be it.

That being said, I think its neat how you do your social observations--you've done several, Brad, and I think they're quite intriguing, even if I don't always agree. You have a gift for seeing, drawing conclusions, and writing them out. I'm a little jealous of that.
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September 18, 2007 12:10:46 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums
Gah. Previous post by me. I think my battery conked out before the actual switiching of names took place. Sorry!
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September 18, 2007 12:18:09 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I don't necessarily agree with the money thing. On many of your points actually, but the fixation with money=winner for sure.

I find it interesting that you think there's a fixation on money. Especially since the article, I think, makes plain that how much money people make has nothing to do with whether someone is a winner or loser.  In fact, in one place it makes clear that a winner and a loser might make the same amount of money.

Perhaps you can explain to me what part of having self control, not taking advantage of others, leaving a situation better than how you found it, etc. has to do with money?

Comments like:

I tend to take a more affective view of what makes a winner--personal qualities versus a Rolls in the garage and three homes. I've known of several people like that (with all the "good stuff"), and I haven't been impressed by them as people at all.

..make me wonder whether you read what I wrote at all.  How could anything I wrote in the article be interpreted as me saying that how much stuff one has amassed makes someone a winner?  My article describes specific behaviors of people.

Heck, the article states outright:

"For instance, proving that money isn't what separates a winner from a loser,"

How much clearer can it get?

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September 18, 2007 12:20:06 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
we've totally made mistakes in managing our money

The best lessons I've learned:
  • Spend less than you make
  • Only spend money you have, not money you've borrowed (friends, family, banks)
  • Make a monthly budget every month for *that* month.  No month is like any other. One month's budget won't fit another.
  • Mistakes are opportunities to improve next month
I too enjoy reading these observations.  I think Brad has worked hard to create something great and when he speaks, I listen.  If you want to be successful, do what successful people do.  If you want to be poor or average . . . well . . there you go.    
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September 18, 2007 12:25:51 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

nataliedee.com

No. Not really. But still - losers and quitters get rainbows and stars.
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September 18, 2007 12:29:07 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
But still - losers and quitters get rainbows and stars.
Only in public schools.  Grrrrr.
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September 18, 2007 12:40:47 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
The way i see it the only losers are those that are dead *well it was funny in my head*
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September 18, 2007 1:00:00 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
shameless plug


very shameless!.......  



"Failure is not in the falling down....it’s in the not getting up...."

just a little saying I like to remember sometimes.....mainly when I fall down....



Very astute observations....
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September 18, 2007 1:23:12 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums
Except for personnel interviews where you can pretty much assess an applicant, I should think observing winners and losers is rather subjective if not judgmental.
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September 18, 2007 1:27:46 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I'd let others be the judge   
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September 18, 2007 1:33:06 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Except for personnel interviews where you can pretty much assess an applicant, I should think observing winners and losers is rather subjective if not judgmental.

Well yea. And?

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September 18, 2007 8:07:22 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
I should think observing winners and losers is rather subjective if not judgmental.
One of the hardest lessons I've had to teach my kids is how and when to judge. It's hard due to the fact that I have so much counter training going against me. The schools teach that everyone is equal and should be treated that way. That's crap and anyone with any experience knows it. Good judgment is critical to success. Good judgment takes time and effort and *that's* what the schools should be teaching.


The below excerpt is from my personal blog from a few years ago. The context was a group, not an individual, but I think it's still relevant.

I think that as responsible people we have an obligation to judge. I think that a fear of being judged poorly is a control in our society. I further think that judging within a group will improve (more on this in a second) one's powers of judgment.

The hard part about judging is finding balance. I tell my kids that they should assume people are good. But I also tell them that if there a person who looks wrong walking toward you, move away from them. There's a thin line between reasonable pre-judging based on experience and wisdom and prejudice based on fear and stereotype.

I think there are things that we all want to do or have wanted to do in the past that society as a whole may not have approved of. Maybe things that aren't illegal but just not right. What defines "not just right"? Other people. Other people judging you. It's a good thing.

The function of group judgment should be wicked strong (as they might say in the Boston of my imagination). The trick there is the group that's doing the judgment. If the judging group is not a sampling of the greater whole; instead, is a group that might reinforce the behavior being judged; all benefits of judgment is lost. If the fear of being judged harshly is stopping a person from revealing a behavior, perhaps they need to evaluate stopping that behavior.

Group judgment does not have to be negative though. Positive reinforcement is likely and should be encouraged. The above points are just as valid (with the alteration of the anticipation of being judged positively in place of fear of poor judgment).

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September 18, 2007 8:56:54 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

You say losers, I say trash.

(I think you may be nicer in this area than I am.  Heh)

I grew up around people (not family necessarily though there were a few there too) who'd rather SIT and talk about how much better the "other guy" has it than actually do anything to "have it" themselves.  I can't stand laziness.  And I can't stand when someone puts limits on themselves and then blames other people when they find themselves in a less than desirable position.

As a kid I watched people sit around smoking dope talking about how the gov is robbing them, the rich are robbing them, etc etc.  I remember thinking, I'd rather be one of them than you...AND why don't you work another job instead of sitting around bemoaning your position in life?

gah.

This subject touches a nerve with me...heh.  Call me an idealist, but I do believe in this country if you are willing to work, and work hard, you can have just about anything you want.  You don't have to necessarily have smarts, or even "new" ideas.  Just the commitment to work and do the best you can at whatever you are doing, even if its mopping floors.

 

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September 18, 2007 9:13:03 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
What many people are bringing up here is what I have written about several times.....the lack of personal responsibility in America.  They come up with the most ridiculous excuses and blame everyone else for their lack of success.



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September 18, 2007 9:21:10 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Except for personnel interviews where you can pretty much assess an applicant, I should think observing winners and losers is rather subjective if not judgmental.

Actually, we refer to this as "spidey sense" in the office, and I am one of the one with a trusted "spidey sense".  I have to agree with what brad has said, since I have seen it many times.  I see people complaining about not having enough money to pay their bills, yet the next day they will be bragging about the newest expensive gadget that they bought.

We had an employee that we let go last year that fit a lot of those categories.  He even trashed a company car that he had as basically a favor.  After being written up 3 times because of the same thing, he still couldn't take responsibility.  There was always some other reason that it happened, and it was always not "fair".  Of course, I didn't want to hire him in the first place, and I still get picked on for letting the employee know it (I need a better filter sometimes).

That's just one example, though.  I could spend all day listing dumb things that people do over and over again and never change.

As for the money, I don't think that Brad is talking about money as being "wealthy" but as "living within your means".  You can be a "winner" and not have a high paying job.  heck, not everyone wants the stress of a high paying job, but that doesn't mean that you have to always be broke and blame something else for it.  I know plenty of people who live within their means, even if those means are not much, that live great lives.  But, that is taking control of their own destiny and living with that destiny.  If they don't like it, they will change it, because they know they can.

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September 18, 2007 9:29:26 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
You can be a "winner" and not have a high paying job. heck, not everyone wants the stress of a high paying job, but that doesn't mean that you have to always be broke and blame something else for it.


Well said.






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September 18, 2007 9:39:23 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

You can be a "winner" and not have a high paying job. heck, not everyone wants the stress of a high paying job,

I just love the stress of my medium paying job!

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September 18, 2007 10:02:11 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
There's a lot to be said for living within (and maybe below) your means and not trying to keep up with the "Jones's" (did I spell that right?). People who try to keep up with the "Jones's" to have the fanciest house & best cars & toys soon find out that the "Jones's" are mortgaged up to their ass and have so much credit card debt that it's scary. Being your own person instead of trying to be someone else and being comfortable with who you are is very important. Having confidence in yourself gives you the ability to handle different situations and life's problems as they pop up without having your head blast off from your shoulders at the first sign of stress.

Having a handle on the concept of instant & delayed gratification helps too - it's something that alot of people don't understand which is unfortunate because it's as clear as the nose on your face. It's something that should be taught to all young kids (along with all the other important life lessons) because it seems to be difficult to understand as an adult.

As for the money, I don't think that Brad is talking about money as being "wealthy" but as "living within your means". You can be a "winner" and not have a high paying job. heck, not everyone wants the stress of a high paying job, but that doesn't mean that you have to always be broke and blame something else for it. I know plenty of people who live within their means, even if those means are not much, that live great lives. But, that is taking control of their own destiny and living with that destiny. If they don't like it, they will change it, because they know they can.


I totally agree with this statement, couldn't have said it better myself.   

I'll also add that alot of people pick professions based on how much money they can earn instead of picking a profession that they would enjoy doing the rest of their lives. That to me would be another indicator of whether or not a person is a "winner" - successful in life not just with money. I've heard it said that you should have a job where you love what you do, and the money will follow and it doesn't have to mean making lots of money either - that kind of person to me is a winner. Probably one of the reasons that I have alot of respect for hard working entrepreneurs and small business owners. On the flipside I'm sure that there are lots of people out there with truckloads of money but that alone wouldn't make them winners in my book, there are lots of rich "losers" out there.

This is a good topic, I really enjoy reading & participating in discussions like this.  
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