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Winners & Whiners – Which One Are You?

To be a winner requires getting along with other people. Well, it also requires you to get along with yourself. Every day you wake up you have a choice to make. Am I going to look at life with a positive or negative view? With effort and practice, you can change the way you look at life regardless of your circumstances.

Do You Know Winners and Whiners?

Look around at the people you know. I’ll bet there is someone who doesn’t have much money or lives meagerly, but they have a positive attitude. If you think about it you may know a few people like this.

Having more money, a beautiful spouse or a nice home doesn’t determine if you are a happy person or not. It all starts with your attitude because a good attitude begins with how you talk to yourself. Yes, self-talk is a key to having a winning spirit.

Zig Ziglar was a motivational speaker that I listened to for years. Zig would say that someone couldn’t get your goat if they don’t know where it’s tied up at. Think about that for a second. It might sound a bit foolish, but there is serious wisdom in the meaning of the words.

Respond or React- Are You in Control?

green light for positive thinkingWhen you come up to a stop-light, Zig would say it’s a go light, not a stop light. He shared hundreds of examples of how we program ourselves to think negatively.

How you respond to a situation is different than how you react.

Typically, a reaction isn’t controllable and generally has unpredictable consequences. Just think if the Doctor said you had a reaction to medication vs. having a response to it.

A response is a measured reply to a given situation. You only have control over how you react or respond to a situation. You have zero control over the situation.

Reactionary Responses

All of a sudden someone says something that you don’t like or a circumstance unfolds that ticks you off. Your self-talk starts to feed statements into your mind like “I can’t believe they said that” and “I will tell them a thing or two.” You can feel your heart racing faster, and the emotions start to make you swell. Your mouth opens, and you spew words and attitudes out like no one’s business. You give them a large piece of your mind.

Possibly, after you calm down again, you regret what you said. Maybe you don’t care what they think, and you’re just better off now that you’ve spewed junk all over someone else. You rained on their parade and glad you did.

Did you change the outcome of the

situation with your outburst?

Make different choices vs. just catching what life throws at us.

boys swinging the bat in baseballImagine someone throwing a ball at you. Instinctively you raise your hands to catch it. Even if you’ve never played ball before your natural instincts would be to protect yourself by raising your hands. 

Instincts or learned behavior?

Now, imagine someone throwing a ball at you, and you choose not to put your hands up. It is pretty tough the first time you do this because you naturally put your hands up. With enough practice, you can retrain yourself not to do this particular behavior.

An Exercise to Change Behaviors

STP- Stop, Think & Plan

Learning to control your emotions starts before your outburst. Once it gets to that point, its over.

The mind and body signal you that you are about to get emotionally abrupt. There are “triggers” that lead up to these emotions. Pay close attention to yourself vs. running on remote control.


Stop and catch yourself.  Does the situation really call for you being upset or calling someone out? Usually, it doesn’t. You’ve just learned over the years that you get a degree of satisfaction from being angry and that anger helps you get your way. Well, sometimes you get your way, but certainly not all the time.


Stop and gather your thoughts before you speak. Think about what you are thinking about. Seriously, evaluate what you are telling yourself. Listen to that inner voice and determine if it’s guiding you to who you want to be. 

Think about what you are thinking about. Think about the response you really want to give. An influencing outcome is better accomplished with a cool head and tongue. You might even write it out a few times to better align the expectations of yourself.


Plan what you are going to say. Relearn to say what you want without the negative outburst of emotion. You might also consider saying nothing. I know that’s hard if you struggle to control your emotions, but winners know how to manage themselves, especially in times of duress.

Seriously, no matter what comes at you in life you have a choice to make.

Over time and repeating this exercise you begin to retrain the brain and the mouth. You start to learn how to control your emotions under duress or at least what you perceive to be duress. Too many times, speaking in an angry tone doesn’t solve a thing; frankly, it usually just aggravates the situation.

Am I a Winner or a Whiner?

I’m not sure who created this, but I am thankful for the message. Everyone has worked with a whiner and a winner before. The winning attitude is so much more fun and exciting to be around. This message spurred me on as a young man. I hope it stimulates you to succeed in whatever you want to do.

The will to win is in each and every one of us. Make the right choice.

The difference between Winners and Whiners is ….

The Whiner says I don’t know, and I’m sure nobody else knows either.

The Winner says, let’s find out.

When a Whiner makes a mistake, he says, it wasn’t my fault.

When a Winner makes a mistake he says, I’m responsible, and I’m going to see what can be done to set things right.

When a Whiner makes a promise, he keeps it if he doesn’t change his mind and says, that’s the way it’s always been done. Why change?

A Winner says, there ought to be a better way to do it.

A Whiner has only two speeds – hysterical and lethargic.

A Winner paces himself and rarely bites off more than he can chew.

The Whiner says “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”

A Winner says “I could be a lot better, and I’m going to try to improve.”