I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I spend a lot of time talking about why some people win and others don’t, but I’m still shocked when I see the reality playing out around me.
I was talking to a friend about my new book, Serial Winner (releasing this week!). She said, “Oh, my brother is a perfect example. The other day we were watching the news and a story about some hugely successful person—Mark Cuban or Bill Gates—came on. Out of nowhere he said, ‘I swear, some people are just lucky.'”
I work with and coach people who are trying to achieve big goals. I forget sometimes that there are lots of people in the world who believe myths about successful people—myths that hold them back, myths that convince them that they haven’t got a chance, myths that keep them from going for what they really want. In Serial Winner I bust a lot of these myths. Here are a few you should wipe from your thinking as fast as possible.
1. Winners are just lucky.
They met the right person to help them when they needed it. Somebody came to them with the idea they needed. A friend or family member gave them the money they needed. It all boils down to this: they were in the right place at the right time. And yes, they probably were. But so is everybody.
We’re all presented with opportunities that could change the course of our careers and lives.
People who don’t achieve much sit around waiting for luck to strike. What serial winners do is prepare for those opportunities (with a lot of hard work) and take advantage of them when they finally show up (with more effort and mental toughness).
2. Winners have it easy.
They haven’t faced the challenges the rest of us have, right? They have no idea what it’s like to suffer. They’ve never lost, been fired, gone bankrupt, lived off food stamps, been homeless, had health problems. They’ve never felt overwhelmed, depressed, or doubted by others. Ridiculous!
No one leads a completely protected life.
As it says in Ecclesiastes 9:11, “Time and chance happen to them all.” Look closely and you’ll see the scars your heroes have collected: physical, emotional, psychological. Everybody has them, especially winners. But winners overcome obstacles and win anyway. They don’t make excuses and they don’t quit.
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” —Winston Churchill
3. Winners cheat their way to the top.
Successful people know how to “play the game.” They cut corners, take credit for other people’s work, and make backroom deals. They ignore ethics and principles. They say and do whatever it takes to get ahead. Not true!
This is the kind of BS cheaters use to justify their behavior.
The media might sell this idea: cheating winners get 80 percent of the airtime and ethical winners get the rest. (Just look at the Volkswagen coverage right now.) The truth is that more often than not, nice, smart guys finish first, not last. And they do it with their heads held high, knowing their legacy is intact.
Curious about other myths that hold people back—and might be holding you back? Check out my latest SlideShare presentation.