Building A Winning Life

Everyone wants to be a winner but not so many achieve it. There is a technique, maybe even a formula, for creating the life you want.

The Life Formula

Understand your context. None of us are immune to the effect of the world around us. There are laws we must notice. There are limits to who we can involve. Not everyone can know about you and your purpose. Pay attention to Seth Godin’s idea of tribes. Find people who want to relate to you. There are limits. Taxes reduce our available capital. Health limits our energy. Random chance does not always operate in our favour. People near us change. Adapt.

Know your values and standards. Know who you are and how the world fits. Keep that image up to date. Change what you can to suit your plans, but don’t count on miracles.

Know what you want, when you want it, and what you have to get it with. That will change as you gain experience with your plan and how it fits the world. Pay attention to what you have to get it with. The first thing you will learn is you don’t need to know or be able to do everything. Learn to build teams and develop networks, Networks are a kind of team.

Know why you want it. Why is motivating. It also supplies why not if it is well done. Knowing why not saves time. You can dismiss things instantly unless they fit.

Be assertive without being aggressive. It is perfectly fine to tell others, “That doesn’t work for me, but keep in touch.”

Look after yourself. Physical health. Emotional health. Spiritual health. The YOLO idea, (You Only Live Once) is wrong. The reality is you only die once. You live every day and you should prepare yourself to make the most of each day.

Keep track of your progress. It is easier on your ego if you pay more attention to how far you have come instead of how far you have to go. The important part of keeping track involves understanding what happened and why. No one has a perfect plan in the beginning. Even a very good plan has flaws and they will hold you back if you don’t notice them. The key thought: “You can’t expect to win unless you know why you lose.” — Benjamin Lipson

Understand that money is a way to keep score. Money buys choices and opportunities, but beyond some point it has no meaning. Craig McCaw has pointed out that someone with $4 billion, can live as well as someone with $12 billion. If you know what the money is for, it will be easier to assign it a proper place in your life.

As you learn adjust your plan. Some people think quitting is a bad idea. They misunderstand how great plans work. There are three parts to each. Strategic vision, tactics, and logistics. Do not apply the rule of never quit to tactics and logistics. “winners never quit and quitters never win does not mean that once you begin must enshrine mistakes. Think about Edison, Ford, Walton, and others. None made their first strategic concept work. Their methods (tactics) or their execution (logistics) were wrong or not suited to their context. If it doesn’t work, giving up on a tactic or its logistical execution is perfectly reasonable. Required even. Giving up on a strategic goal is the real quit. Change tactics and logistics first. Maybe many times. Learn the lessons the mistakes teach. Quitting on your purpose is a decision that requires much thought and certainty.

Build a support system if one doesn’t already exist. Bill Gates had his mother and father. Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak. Sam Walton had his family and friends in a small town. Making the most of your life is not easy. Be sure you have depth. Cheerleaders help.

Accept the experience of others. It won’t all fit, but some will. Everyone knows something useful that you haven’t learned yet. The cheapest experience is someone else’s. Seek it. Ask questions. Everyone likes to help. That’s how people are.

Know how you fit after you succeed. There is a theory that says most people become jerks once they become rich or famous. Not completely wrong. There are exceptions too. You should examine how people have behaved after. Many performers — athletes, actors, musicians, and politicians, fail miserably at being a good human. Many entrepreneurs do badly too. Notice the ones who seemed to pull it off and those who did not. Relate to the idea of knowing what does not work as well as what does. I have noticed that successful people who lead a full life have two things in common. They read a lot and they are humble. Not all to the same degree, but the fabric is there.

Teach others. That’s probably the wrong image, perhaps, share your experience and ideas is better. Be especially willing to share the things that didn’t work. For each of us, the scarcest resource is time. Knowing to avoid a mistake is more valuable than money. Give that gift when you can.

Know that it won’t turn out as you planned. Consider this thought from Douglas Adams, “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be” That’s why you remain alert to changes in your context, your tribe, and your personal wants. Ending up where you should be is a remarkable and rare accomplishment. Savour it.

Good luck and enjoy the journey

I help people have more retirement income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call in Canada 705-927-4770, or email

One Comment on “Building A Winning Life

  1. Fundamental and true in every sense of the word we admire such generosity which is selfless and eager to share your knowledge freely thereby educating a very huge and effective tribe who in turn supplies to others and others to others. We appreciate the read today may we all learn and become better human beings.
    Thank you Sir

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