10 Things Winners Do Differently

10 Things Winners Do Differently

Anyone can give up, and lots of people do, because it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.  But to keep going when everyone would understand if you stopped, that’s what winners do differently.  In fact, this is the most significant principle of winning.  Because without this kind of determination and persistence, the first nine points in this article wouldn’t matter.  But when you combine determination and persistence, as described in point #10 below, with each of the other nine points below, that’s when the real magic happens.

On their relentless road to victory, winners…

  1. Take 100% responsibility. – Your life is your statement to the world, representing your values, beliefs, and dreams.  It is yours to create, to enjoy or not enjoy, to fight or to be at peace.  In the end, the very best years of your life will be the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your parents, society, or the economy.  You realize that you control your own destiny.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  2. Focus on the controllable. – Life is a balance between what we can and cannot control.  You must learn to live comfortably between effort and surrender.  Life does not owe you anything; it has already given you everything you need.  Freedom is not overcoming what you think stands in your way;  it is understanding that what is in your way is part of the way.
  3. Eliminate the wrong things. – The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.  If something you’re doing or thinking isn’t fixing or improving the situation, then it’s wasting your time.  There comes a point when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.
  4. Maintain control. – Start shaping your own days.  Start walking your own walk.  This journey is yours.  You know you were born, and you know you will die.  The in between is all up to you.  Stop wishing, and start doing.  Either you run your days, or your days will run you.
  5. Keep good company. – It’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most.  Some people drain you and others provide soul food.  Be sure to get in the company of those who feed your spirit, and give the gift of your absence to those who do not appreciate your presence.
  6. Think constructively. – Change your thoughts and you change your reality.  Our thoughts are the makers of our moods, the inventors of our dreams, and the creators of our will.  That is why you must sort through them carefully, and choose to respond only to those that will help you build the life you want, and the outlook you want to hold as you’re living it.  Read Learned Optimism.
  7. Conquer oneself. – Being yourself is the foundation of happiness.  Knowing yourself is the foundation of wisdom.  Pushing yourself is the foundation of success.  It is better to conquer yourself is these ways, than to win a hundred battles elsewhere in life.
  8. Practice self-love. – We need to fix ourselves first before we fix others.  Caring for yourself is not an act of self-indulgence, it’s an act of self-respect.  The day will finally come when you have to accept that you need to be your own caretaker.  There will be times when you’ll have to work hard to mother yourself with the compassion and patience that any messed up kid would need.  Doing so will prove to be a great challenge, but a happier life is your reward.
  9. Work through the pain. – One day this pain will make sense to you.  Sometimes it takes the worst pain to bring about the best change.  The strongest people you know became strong because of the pain they once faced, and conquered.  So in spite of all the put-downs and negativity you’ve heard from others in your life, stay focused on your goals, and remember that how you rise up is no one else’s business but your own.  Read Man’s Search for Meaning.
  10. Keep going. – No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up and think to yourself that there’s no point to carry on, and no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do it – keep going.  Pick yourself back up.  Don’t quit.  Don’t quit, because a few months from now you will be so much closer to your goal than you are now.  Focus on the road ahead.  Do something today your future self will thank you for.

Photo by: Zach Ancell


  1. says

    Thanks! I needed this. I’ve recently been blaming a lot of my circumstances on outside forces, but I finally remembered why I made the decision a while back to take 100% responsibility. Even though I know that blaming limits my power to change, I still find myself falling into it every now and then. I’m human after all 😀

    This post is a great reinforcement and reminder of things I need to be doing every single day to reach my goals.

  2. Shawna says

    Wow! You two have no idea how fitting this read was for me at this exact moment. Uncanny.

    I thank you wholeheartedly for your continued efforts at motivating us to be our best selves. It’s working for me. :)

  3. Heather Willis says

    I look forward to each and every tidbit of wisdom you have to offer on this site, and I just wanted to say thank you for allowing me to see things in a different way. I keep a notebook to remind me of many of your insights and it is helping me to change my life and look at life with a new perspective and a positive mind.

  4. Felix says

    So true! Good success advice! This inspires me to keep on pushing forward with my goals this morning. I’m going to print this out & save it!

  5. says

    Being yourself is the foundation of happiness. Knowing yourself is the foundation of wisdom. Pushing yourself is the foundation of success. It is better to conquer yourself is these ways, than to win a hundred battles elsewhere in life.

    Extremely comprehensive list. The trick is to be able to master all or most of the items on your list. I think I’ve been very strong at some of them at some points in my life, others at other points.
    This brings us to steps 1 and 7. Step 1 – I accepted responsiblility and realized that working on Step 7 (Conquering Self) would help me to be more adept at managing all aspects of my life simultaneously. After years of introspection, self-study, and learning to be mindful I have to say that I have made great progress.
    This brings us to step 10; I never quit.

    Thanks for your list. I’ll have to print it as a reminder.

    Dan Garner

  6. says

    I agree with taking 100% responsibility, and it would be nice if people started taking responsibility for their failed marriages, finances, etc. All of us make choices in life. Sometimes those choices aren’t the best ones, but we make them based on the information we have at the time. Learn your life lessons and move forward with your life.

  7. Kelley Howe says

    Everyday, I read your posts. Thank you for such incredibly inspiring, motivational, and wonderful daily messages. I am grateful that I was able to find your positive website in this world full of negativity and unhappiness. Your words and insight truly make a difference in my life! THANK YOU!!

  8. Hollis Greenspan says

    I do appreciate many bits and bites of wisdom that you publish in your blog. But your comments about “winning ” and “losing,” they just make me feel a bit uneasy. Every supposed mistake can bequeath a wealth of self-awareness and forward movement. There are no mistakes, there are no losers. To paraphrase the Dalai Lama, sometimes not getting what you want is the greatest gift possible. If you see things dualistically, you will not realize that all your failures, mistakes, losses and “bad” attitudes are potential learning experiences in this messy journey we call life.

  9. maryp says

    Thanks for such insight and inspiration. It truely makes my day when I receive your newsletters an find links to older ones. AWESOME!!!

  10. Yusuf says

    While I was reading this and feeling so blessed, I kept wondering where you guys gained such beautiful insights. There are always new things that I can learn. Thank you very much for the beautiful post.

  11. says

    Dead on. Take 100 % Responsibility. Love that. We so often want to blame others for our failings but then we want to take all the credit for our successes.

    We will be more successful if we realize that – where we are in life is due to the choices we have made and the thoughts we have thunk (is that word?). The quicker we take personal responsibility – the quicker we will be on the road to winning.

    Great article as always -thanks

    – Joseph Michael
    Efficient Life Skills Blog

  12. Patty says

    I look forward to each installment of your blog. The amazing insight, the relevant counsel, the practical wisdom — you two must be at least as old as Methuselah! I know you aren’t, of course, and I appreciate that all of us can learn from someone who may be much younger in years.
    I am grateful for you.

  13. says

    @Hollis Greenspan: I completely agree, there are no losers is this world; because every failure is simply a lesson that brings us one step closer to our goal. Perhaps my choice in terminology is a bit confusing. In this article, I’m simply defining a highly motivated, successful, self-starter as a ‘winner.’ This persona of a ‘winner’ is something we are all capable of being; and each of us define our own version of winning based on personal aspirations.

    @All: Thanks so much for keeping the conversation going, and for all the praise. Your comments also contain such moving words of wisdom. We sincerely appreciate the fact that you share your thoughts with us. You honestly fuel our motivation on a daily basis, and for that we are eternally grateful.

  14. says

    Great read. It’s important to remember to pass these lessons on to our children in a gentle, loving way. Children are inspiring – the way they watch something on television and immediately imagine that they too could be a superhero, pop star, or Olympic athlete. Adults can be depressing in how easily we pour our cold reality on their dreams. We think we are protecting our children from unrealistic hopes. We think we are sparing them from disappointment. Is it really better not to dream the impossible, than to try and fail? They all have the opportunity to be winners if we give them that opportunity.

  15. says

    We want achieve goals, so we need increase our positive energy because we must persist and give more effort to do the many things we want to accomplish. That is the way to achieve your life goals, and the 10 things in this post will support for you to success.

  16. says

    Great reminders, Marc =) Taking responsibility, taking control of my mind, implementing your prescribed steps I find, is much easier with huge doses of self-love, forgiveness, and time for play. And diving into uplifting reads on Marc and Angel!

  17. maggie says

    Thank you for your words of wisdom, a friend got me started on your site and I look forward to your messages of inspiration and guidance every day. Recently I made some bad choices and my attitude was negative to everyone, I chased people away and even fell out with my best friend. The lesson I have learnt is to take responsibility for my actions, not dwell on my mistakes and be the best I can be, one day at a time.

  18. says

    Marc – Excellent post as always.

    I am happy to see that you have mentioned the book Man’s Search for Meaning. This is a very well written book and is extremely powerful.

  19. says

    I was on my 3rd attempt again to lose weight at the gym, and I was close to really giving up this time because of some can’t-let-go diet problems. I was berating myself today for succumbing yet to another temptation (culprit: fried chicken).

    But this post just injected motivation into my mind, and I am happy I visited today. Thanks!

  20. Tyrone H says

    I am truly wowed by this. When I find something interesting I email it to my friends on my contact list. Many of them enjoyed to too. So thank you for inspiring us.

  21. says

    There are really times in life that you are in front of a situation which you don’t know if the right thing to do is to give it up or to continue. But in the end, it’s what makes you happy that matters most.

    Thank you for another great article, Marc!

  22. says

    So true, it’s like the 10 commandments for business, they must be obeyed every day and referenced when doubt and fear creep in!!
    Thank you for posting.


  1. This list spoke directly to my motivation – something I sometimes fail to properly feed. You got me going this morning with this post, and I just re-read it for a second boost.


  2. I am a survivor, and I do not give up easily. I don’t like to quit, and I appreciate this post. Thank you for a positive afternoon read.

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