I’m a keen observer of people, I’ve always been a people watcher, believing that I’ll learn more from peoples’ actions than their words. Their words are what they think they think or want to appear to think but how they act is the reality of who they really are, as Aristotle said ‘we are what we consistently do’. Today I would like to look at who we are and where we fit into society from the standpoint of ‘beginners, winners, cruisers and losers’.
Social media is a great example. Many people post photos of themselves in a great pose especially those promoting their image for their business and some of these photos show amazing physiques and abilities. This motivates us (if we don’t check ourselves) to buy their products or at least become a ‘liker’ of their page or posts. However, so often there is a story going on behind the person. Sure, some have professional photos taken in studios by good photographers but many (the beginners) take them at home and though they show a great image (sometimes) behind them we see a tiny apartment, untidy, poorly furnished with an unmade bed behind them or even worse, the toilet right behind them!
The question becomes, ‘if you’re doing so well, why is your success not showing in your life?’ why aren’t they in a nice place, tidy, well furnished, a place that speaks success. And why if you’re so successful are you taking your own photo? Have you ever seen the Dalai Lama posting a ‘selfie’? or a great business leader or politician? People posting in selfies are to my mind the ‘beginners’, they think they’ve found the solution but they are not yet a product of that solution. Admittedly, we all have to start somewhere, but if you are promoting yourself and charging people for your products then those products should at least look like they’re working for you before you push them on someone else.
If you are a fitness guru, then you must be more than fit in your body you should also be fit in your mind. What I mean is a great body is not enough to speak of that success. That fitness should also be led by your mind and be leading your mind too. What I mean is – all action begins in the mind and action is the only road to greatness. But the great mind also knows that where it started is not enough to keep it great, it must also be fed the right nutrients so it can grow. As Einstein said ‘the knowledge that got you to where you are today is not enough to keep you there’ If you are so good for example, why isn’t it showing in your lifestyle? You might say ‘well, I’m not interested in the money or the trappings of success’ but frankly, if you’re charging for your products then you must be interested in the money or else you’d be giving your products away wouldn’t you? The danger with the beginner is that you are just repeating what you’ve learned from someone else’s manual for success, in effect, ‘running before you can walk’ and if you want long term success then you must learn to walk first or your message can never be true and from your heart, without which you can never be a long term success because your experience is just not enough to guide your future and current success.
Winners are what many of us want to be, whatever image that brings to your mind; business, sport, wealth, peace etc., winners have walked the walk before they talk the talk. Winners are still walking the walk, in fact winners never stop walking the walk. That is the requirement of a winner. If you see a sporting superstar after he or she retires you will still see success, just in a different arena. Take Mohammad Ali, he was a great success in the boxing ring and arguably the greatest ever but he’s made more money, wealth and impact since he retired even whilst he has suffered through his Parkinson’s disease. Winners win, that is in their nature, their genes, they can no more retire from their winning mind set than can a leopard change its spots. This brings me to another type of person which is the cruiser
The cruiser is the person who wants to cruise through life, avoid risk and problems. Cruisers want to retire, to relax, to stop worrying and just sit back in their comfort zone. There are lots of cruisers out there and I think we all have a cruiser inside of us, we all want to relax and enjoy the rewards of our labours. But we can’t completely relax because things are changing all the time. Even if we don’t want to change, circumstances will force us to. We can reject technology because it’s trivial and modern and requires us to learn new skills but if we reject it and try to cruise on we find ourselves making our own lives difficult. Some of the changes we encounter are going to make our lives easier and to fail to adopt them will make our lives more difficult than they need to be. a cruiser mentality would have resisted the development of the washing machine, preferring to continue to wash by hand but the washing machine makes cleaning our clothes so much easier that we can ‘cruise’ through it
The cruiser wants to keep going as they always have, but this is not possible. Even if you have achieved massive wealth you can’t just sit back and live on it because wealth brings its own problems, admittedly, nice ones but even the richest people in the world still have to work at some level. Wealth has to be managed, even if you have a big staff to do it, they have to be managed so they don’t lose your money or worse steal it! You still have decisions to make, actions to take and even though your financial pressures may seem to be less than people who are still working for a living, they still exist. Great wealth brings great responsibility which means risk, work and effort.
Sure we can sit back more when we achieve financial success, it is much better than going to work for a living, but you can’t switch off completely, and frankly who wants to? We are physical beings who thrive on stress. Even keeping fit means applying more stress to our body today than we could cope with yesterday so we should embrace risk and challenge because we only get one life and my view is don’t waste it resting and cruising.
This brings me to the final mind set of my talk today which is to consider the losers
I don’t like to call anyone a loser, it’s not nice, it’s a negative judgement and no one wants to be judged like that. But, some people make a life out of being a loser, that is they fail to make anything of the life they have been given. Some people don’t work for a living and instead live off the generosity of society, some feel it their right to be cared for by others. Some do work but do the absolute minimum. I knew someone once who, when I asked him what he did at work replied ‘as little as possible’. This guy prided himself on how many books he could read at work during his ‘working’ week. What a great employee! As you can imagine he moved jobs a lot, in fact he was constantly being made redundant or being fired because of his lack of work ethic. Now this guy wasn’t unintelligent, he was a member of MENSA the high IQ society, in fact his IQ was around a 142! But he had a loser mentality that said why should I do more than the absolute minimum for anyone? I can’t understand his mind set. But at the end of his life he will have made no contribution to making the world better, have no friends and will rely on his family to take care of him, no possessions of value, or a nice home or even a satisfying relationship. He is so clever that he has nothing and in the main doesn’t give a damn. To my mind he is a true loser because he had a good start in life, well brought up, never went without financially, had a good education and was blessed with high intelligence but decided to do nothing with what he had been given through pure idleness.
To me a loser is someone like this guy. Someone who won’t try, won’t contribute and frankly when he dies won’t be missed. Now I may be out of kilter with some of you here. Life is not all about money and possessions I admit, but what I think life is about is having a purpose and a passion and using those to make the world a little better for your having been here. If you do that then I think you can count yourself as a success.
In summary, I think it’s important to identify who we are and where we are so that we can use that knowledge to make our lives better for it. We will all have moments of being a beginner, a winner a cruiser and a loser but if we want to take satisfaction in our life we must strive to spend more time being a winner; pushing ahead with purpose and striving to be more than we started out as because then when the time comes for us to move on and quit this world we can be happy in the knowledge that though we didn’t do everything we wanted or achieved everything we hoped for, at least we left a legacy for others to benefit from and that means our life had a sense of progress and purpose which is about as much as we can hope and something to aspire to.
Have a great day!