post written by: Marc Chernoff

Why Winners Win and Losers Lose


Winners vs. Losers

We all want to be winners.  We all want to succeed.  So why then do so many of us struggle indefinitely and come up short?  It has something to do with how we think, what we focus on, and how we live each moment.

Here are a few ideas on why winners win and losers lose.

  • Losers fail once and quit.  Winners fail a thousand times and eventually succeed.
  • Losers look for success at the finish line.  Winners experience success along the way.
  • Losers work to make money.  Winners work to make a difference.
  • Losers buy things.  Winners build things.
  • Losers see things they don’t understand and get discouraged.  Winners see things they don’t understand and get curious.
  • Losers talk.  Winners communicate.
  • Losers attempt to conquer the world in one shot.  Winners add up all their small victories.
  • Losers expect certain outcomes.  Winners prepare themselves for the unexpected.
  • Losers seek respect.  Winners earn respect.
  • Losers stare at the problem.  Winners look around for the solution.
  • Losers review options.  Winners act on decisions.
  • Losers are paid for their time.  Winners are paid for their results.
  • Losers let things happen.  Winners make things happen.
  • Losers want to get ahead of others.  Winners help others get ahead too.
  • Losers hangout with losers.  Winners hangout with winners who are more successful than they are.
  • Losers follow other people’s definitions of success.  Winners define their own success.
  • Losers escape fears.  Winners face fears.
  • Losers waste their free time (watching TV).  Winners use their free time (learning or experiencing something new).
  • Losers see the unknown as a risk.  Winners see constant familiarity as a risk.
  • Losers live in the past.  Winners live life now based on lessons learned in the past.
  • Losers label themselves as experts.  Winners know there is still much to learn.
  • Losers over-sell.  Winners over-deliver.
  • Losers frown.  Winners smile.
  • Losers think winners are lucky.  Winners realize the harder they work the luckier they are.

What did I leave off the list?  What qualities do you think separate successful people from everyone else?

Photo by: Yasin Hassan

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62 Comments

  • Just reading your points made me smile…thanks for the reminder and pick-me-up!

  • This was a fantastic list!! And so true, thanks for this!!

  • “Losers over-sell. Winners over-deliver.” - over-delivered with this list. :)

  • When I first glanced at the title , I was about to skip this post, expecting to read something Tony Robbins like “change mentality ” and such…

    But I am glad I didn’t. This is more like a quiz ” Are you a winner or a loser ” …
    I wonder if there is something in between ?

  • What a great post. Life is a journey, and you have to keep learning and trying along the way. The one thing I would add to this list is that winners make the most of their wins to cushion the losses (ie. save when they are earning so they aren’t financially devastated by the life decisions that don’t pay off).

  • Not to sound crass, but using an “us vs. them” sort of communication method by listing these kinds of contrasts does nothing to uplift or improve the lot of so-called “losers” in any way, shape or form. Reading this list, I understand the ultimate goal in posting the list, but not everyone who is confronted with these kinds of articles is motivated to change their situation, but instead become more depressed, more critical of themselves and ultimately end-up worse off. A lot can be said for attempting to use conflict-laden language to inspire change in an individual, but not everyone reacts positively to that. I file myself under the same category as the group I just mentioned.

    Just pointing something out. Otherwise, good list.

  • Losers get themselves occupied with petty issues and spiral down. Winners know a way to break out and move on.

  • Losers get themselves occupied with petty issues and spiral down. Winners find a way to break out and move on.

  • “Losers hate to be corrected. Winners love constructive criticism.” -Proverbs 12:1

  • This is awesome guys. I personally like the one that says losers look at a problem and get discouraged but winners look at a problem and get curious.

    Losers stand on the outskirts of a dance floor, winners are taking their dates back to their hotel room to use contraceptives properly.

  • !!!!

  • LOVE THIS!

    Awesome content as always. My fav line was:

    Losers see the unknown as a risk. Winners see constant familiarity as a risk.

    SO true.

  • So true!

  • A great Monday morning post! I would like to be a winner and share this list with the rest for them to experience the same “feel good” feeling I had.

  • Hi Marc,

    I especially liked the one that said… “Losers attempt to conquer the world in one shot. Winners add up all their small victories.”

    Patience and hard work are still great virtues to have. You just gotta trust that things will pay off in the long run if you are doing the right thing.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  • Awesome article, made me more motivated to become a winner!

  • A lot of good advice in that post. Great questions for self analysis. Thanks.

  • sometimes loosers work (or live) for success, but winners - for love and enthusiasm

  • Only seen a couple I need to work on. Thank for the reminder.

  • Holy geez! This is a whole big fat chunk of quality inspiration. I think each person who wants to be successful at life should print this list out and put it in a place where they can read before they start each day. Props again! I love your posts.

  • I just started texting inspirational quotes and thoughts to my two twenty-something sons…
    This I’m going to email to both of them, because it’s so good.
    Thanks!

  • OMG! I am such a loser. There is maybe one or two things where I identify with winner traits. This is kinda depressing.

  • Great advice. I’m a winner for life. Same to all those who took the time, to read this post.

  • My grandfather told me, “Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, some wonder what-happened.”

  • Losers sacrifice people to win at any cost. Winners realize some costs are too high. (I’m sure there is a more elegant way to say this, I just can’t think of it at the moment)

  • Love it! Thank you for all you do and are! Inspiring

  • Thank you for this! Needed to hear this this morning.

  • Wow, you can tell you have put a lot of thought into this list and even if you took one or two of those principles and lived by them, it could completely change your life experience.

    Here are some more things I could add to the list.

    *Losers want it NOW. Winners understand delayed gratification.

    *Losers lack discipline. Winners realise that the pain of regret is greater than the pain of discipline.

    *Losers see challenges as obstacles. Winners see challenges as opportunity.

    *Losers give up just before they succeed. Winners try just that one more time.

    *Losers focus on what they don’t have. Winners focus on what they do have.

    *Losers follow the common path. Winners take the road less travelled.

  • I just realized I”am a loser. This is very motivating to me as well. This one right here hit home for me,”Losers let things happen.  Winners make things happen.” I must change my ways.

  • http://zenhabits.net/anti-success/

  • Damn, no middle ground :)

    Great article!

    Losers feel entitled. Winners feel gratitude.
    Losers see scarcity and hoard. Winners see abundance and share.

  • Losers hide out in the background, thinking they’ll participate once they’ve “got it all together.” Winners show up as they are, as their “best selves.”

    Losers don’t want to share their success; they take credit for achievements. Winners invite everyone to be on the team to share the work and the victory. Winners acknowledge those who’ve helped them.

    Losers don’t act, because they’re afraid. Winners are afraid, too, but they just move forward, seeking the support and resources they need.

  • This guy just said what I wanted to say… here it is

    Not to sound crass, but using an “us vs. them” sort of communication method by listing these kinds of contrasts does nothing to uplift or improve the lot of so-called “losers” in any way, shape or form. Reading this list, I understand the ultimate goal in posting the list, but not everyone who is confronted with these kinds of articles is motivated to change their situation, but instead become more depressed, more critical of themselves and ultimately end-up worse off. A lot can be said for attempting to use conflict-laden language to inspire change in an individual, but not everyone reacts positively to that. I file myself under the same category as the group I just mentioned.

    Just pointing something out. Otherwise, good list.

    credits to original poster.

  • It’s unfortunate that this post has irked a few readers. I guess it sounds pretty harsh if you feel like you yourself fall under the category of “losers”. Maybe a better way to read it is to replace the word loser with some and the word winner with others. Regardless, some days we’re the loser and other days we’re the winner.

  • Losers read this list and think that they’re winners because they agree with it.

    Winners read this list and think whatever I travel my own path..

    - words of wisdom -

  • Great! I especially like “Losers see things they don’t understand and get discouraged. Winners see things they don’t understand and get curious.” It reminds me so much of that powerful ad in NatGeo about how great things come from simple questions of why and how. Indeed, curiosity is a true sign of a winner.

    As for losers, they just need to really get their horizons widened, tear down the walls of laziness and fear built around them, and appreciate there’s beauty to discovery. The question is, will the losers even desire going beyond where they are!

    Oh, well. Back to the post. I just love it as it humbles me to know there’s much to change to become a winner. And at the same time, reaffirms my self-valuation that I have a great potential to be one.

    A really cool, cool post. Keep it up!

  • Hey Marc,
    I would like to add one for your list. Winners are people who dont lable other people as losers or attempt to define what winners are. Winners have the bigness of heart and the grace to let others just be. I am amused by people who make such lists as they alway infer they are part of the winners group and therefore qualified to label others from that narrow viewpoint. However by their fruit you will know them.

  • Losers and Winners are variables for optimists and pessimists. Sometimes losers are winners and vice versa. In the very 1st line, winners are losers over and over before they ever succeed. You may prefer to be the biggest loser if it comes to being overweight. For me, it depends on the day.. You win some and you lose some. In either case, it’s best not to let it go to your head.. ^_~

  • Well said. All of it.

    Losers and winners are of course one and the same (even/especially within ourselves), and thus experience the same outer circumstances.

    Amazing what a difference an attitude correction can make.

  • awesome, inspiring and to the point :)

  • Great post!

    In the above list you can replace ‘losers’ with ‘losers feel themselves weak and that’s why they…’, and ‘winners’ with ‘winners feel themselves strong and that’s why they…’

    Realising it’s how one perceives oneself (as weak or strong) shows a way to become a winner. Start slowly and continuously to do it the winners’ way, and increase your comfort zone.

    (Thanks to Susan Jeffers)

  • This reminded me to continue to be the winner. Sometimes it is hard and easily forgotten.

    Losers use the words ‘I can’t'… winners don’t even have those words in their vocabulary.

    Losers try to find their way around the wall… winners find the way to climb it instead.

    Good post!!

  • Beautiful! Do you mind if I pass the list on to my students? I believe that the element of success is what is missing in education. Thank you for the smile and reminder.

  • Marc! Your compilation of successes and failures is absolutely grand! Great post, keep it up!

  • Hmm…I have a doubt here…

    Do they become losers because they do these things or is it that all losers do these things later?

  • “Losers are paid for their time. Winners are paid for their results.”

    This one is especially true.

    Exceptional Post, thank you.

    -Oliver

  • This kind of reminds me of “Goofus and Gallant” from the old Highlights magazines. There are some great pearls of wisdom in these words and I think the key is finding one that you can relate to and build on that. Then go on to the next one. This isn’t a list to be read once and forgotten. In my opinion, this is a checklist of ways to become a winner one by one.

  • Thank you for inspiring me… -> Very inspirational… **Thx for this post** :)

  • great post…made me smile….

    losers are afraid to move out of their comfort zone…winners take a leap!!

  • Losers see challenge in every opportunity but winners see opportunity in every challenge.
    Well some last words I hope…

  • winners always have a plan but Losers don’t….

  • awesome.
    nøw i knøw!! :D
    can i add søme? ü
    - losers visualize the penalties of failure.
    - winners visualize the reward of success.
    ‘Dr. Rob gilbert

    .. WM

  • I think we all are losers at times because let’s face it NO ONE IS PERFECT (<– in capitals to emphasise not shout). Just because one knows they are loser and is critical of themselves doesn’t make them more of a loser. It doesn’t change anything. For better or worse. What are they supposed to do really? Think high of themselves as losers? Some do. They’re a loser either way. Not unless they put in the effort to win. I think if you really honestly do try your best and still fail, you’re not a loser. To be YOUR best is good enough. Nevermind trying to be THE best.

    But hey. Then again. THIS IS A GREAT LIST. It tells us why we lose and why we win. I think losers like me can learn from this. Thanks!

  • Losers yearn for something, but winners have inner craving and self control to take action and achieve it.

  • tiffany david
    May 4th, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I’m glad to see that these posts reveal the problem and provide a solution.

    Losers talk about their achievements. Winners let their achievements talk.

  • Finally! Someone made a list!! Thank you for this post. It’s a way of life I couldn’t quite put into words. Well done.

  • Very nice. A lot of positive ideas to pick up in daily life.

  • Winners look for solutions to problems; losers just make excuses and their problems never go away–they only get worse than they should be.

  • No one I have ever met, even the “losers”, want to be “losers”. There are so many factors that come into play. Our childhood and families play a big role in how we eventually handle the many things life throws our way. Some people don’t have families, but who they associated with as children plus their own predisposed personality or genetic traits are also important topics. I would love to see the things addressed on this site. Different perspectives sometimes are key to understanding the whole picture.

  • Instead of giving the negative even a brief mention, I would like to see all of these distinctions transformed into edicts; for example, instead of, “Losers don’t bathe. Winners take pride in their hygiene.”
    How about: “Take pride in your hygiene.” Done.

  • This is AWESOME, very well written!

  • Losers see themselves as losers. Winners see themselves as potential winners.

    Losers seek outside sources of feel-good (other people, alcohol, drugs, TV, gaming…), Winners seek internal sources (motivation, discipline, healthy living, positive self-talk, and getting things done)

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