There are a lot of kind-hearted people in this world – and not just in Canada – who believe that “winning” means someone else “loses.” We get this flawed perspective from sports and other games, but it does not work in real life.

In a game (ie, not real life) there are strict rules about what it means to “win.” In the game of Monopoly, for example, you do not “win” until everyone else has gone completely broke. In Sid Meier’s Civilization (my personal favorite), there are several ways to win – but still, only one player can win, and the rest all lose. (I suppose that may be why I prefer playing against the computer instead of real people – so that when I win, only the computer loses.)

In real life, there are no strict rules about how to win. That’s because we can decide for ourselves how we want to win. And since my win is not the same as your win, then we can both win at our own game.

When I win, I don’t want anyone else to lose. When I help a client, I want to feel like I have done a great job and added real value to my client’s life. That’s a win for me, and that’s a win for my client.

I have a house in Calgary. I like my house. Having this house is a win for me. Does that mean that someone else loses because they don’t live here? No. They win because they get to live in Carpinteria, California. (If you’ve ever been there, then you know what winning is like.)

Like the ad says – “You may already be a winner.” Yes, I am. Even if the guy next door is winning, too. Because I get to decide what a ‘win’ looks like for me, personally.

I get to make up my rules (to some extent). If I decide that working less hours and having more free time is a win for me, then I’m not as concerned about the guy who’s working 60-hour weeks and making a lot more than I am. (Because I used to be “that guy” – I know how it feels.) If I decide that winning means owning a one-of-a-kind postage stamp that no one else has ever heard of, then I can win that way – and most other people aren’t even aware that they’ve “lost” by my standards.

Some white folk complain about immigrants coming in and taking jobs away. But what jobs are they taking? Custodial, fast-food, night-shift at the warehouse – all the jobs that I don’t want. Am I losing because they get that job and I don’t? No! I win! Because someone else is doing that work, and I don’t have to. I get to do what I want rather than flipping burgers or cleaning toilets. And they win because they get to live here and pick a job that suits them (hopefully).

This all ties into the “Law of Attraction,” but this little bit boils down to this: I AM ALLOWED TO WIN. If I win, that doesn’t mean I’m taking anything away from anyone else. In fact, according to my rules, I’m probably helping someone else win at the same time. And that feels good.


About Craig

Craig lives in Calgary, Alberta.
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1 Response to Win-Win

  1. Laura McLaughlin says:

    i heard on the radio the a while ago, a conversation about sports and family talk. The issues with sports is, we’ve focused on, did you win?…in conversation. The real conversation families should have, is not, did you win?… it is, what did you learn?…that way everybody wins. Because in life, we have to do a lot of learning, before we reach our destination, that light at the end of the tunnel. This is the same in all conversations of life, it’s called motivational interviewing. Open ended questions. helping people gain insight to bring them closer to their own solutions, as opposed to offering our own suggestions to them/cures….

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