Winners Take Responsibility—Whiners Play the Victim

by Keith Cameron Smith

Let's face it: life doesn't always go according to plan. In fact, life is what happens while you're making other plans.

To become a winner in the face of this unpredictability requires that you balance two seemingly contradictory ideas. The first is best expressed by the expression "If it's going to be, it's up to me." The second is nearly the opposite: "What will be, will be."

These two statements sound fine by themselves—but when you put them side-by-side they contradict each other. And yet, taking either of these statements to the extreme produces negative results.

For example, let's look at the first statement: If it's going to be, it's up to me. Taking that philosophy to the extreme leads to arrogance and the perception that you don't need anyone. And the second statement? Taken to its extreme, the idea that What will be, will be leads to the role of victim, aimlessly drifting with no sense of control.

The truth lies somewhere in the middle. Winners seek to find a balance in life, and the balance point for these two statements is responsibility. Responsibility means doing your best and trust that good will happen. You can't always live in a state of what will be, will be, or you'll never take positive action. You can't always live in a state of if it's going to be, it's up to me, or you will think more highly of yourself than you should and become arrogant and judgmental.

These extremes—a lack of perceived control and a state of arrogance—start whiners down a dangerous path that leads to only one place: fear. That sense of fear manifests itself in people as worry, and worry is the enemy of winning. Winners don't worry, whiners do.

Conversely, while fear is believing in the worst that can happen, winners have faith in positive outcomes, and that faith manifests in the form of trust—a belief in the good in people and situations. While there may be people who do not have good intentions, most probably do. Winners look for those who do—and don't worry about the rest.

Winners trust the intentions of others. Whiners play the victim because they allow their fears to grow into worry, their worry into suspicion, and their suspicion into division. You can't be a winner without others. Life is a team sport. Whining leads to separation, but winning comes only through unity.

The decision to live by faith or fear is just that: a decision. It is a personal choice and it is one you must make every day. Your choices are your responsibility. A whiner thinks his choices depend on his circumstances and that those circumstances are someone else's fault.

Fear is rooted in a belief that you have no choice. In reality, your circumstances exist because of your choices and those choices are made in the context of either faith or fear. Accept the responsibility to make choices based in faith and you become a winner. Make choices based in fear and you will be a whiner.

Winners know we always have choices, and take responsibility for them. Whiners, however, believe that their choices are controlled by someone else. And while you can let someone else control your choices, isn't that a choice in itself? Becoming a winner is impossible until you assume the responsibility of choice. Winners understand that power, and use it wisely.

For more distinctions between Winners and Whiners, please join my upcoming Webinar and check out my book, The Top 10 Distinctions between Winners and Whiners.


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