Play to win is the name of a book I read some years ago. As many great things we read, we agree, and get exited about our own potential, but our minds and our false sense of security doesn’t allow us to act. As I had now clear that I wanted to take control of my life, and live it, I had to act accordingly. Not as I always did, protecting what I had achieved at the moment, but letting things go, in pursuit of bigger dreams I had.
When I was at school, and later at the University, I was a good student. My grades were one of the best, I did well in all classes, I excelled academically. This created a brand for me. A “smart” guy. And smart people do not make mistakes. So every time I had to make decisions, instead of going for the home run, I played it safe, to maintain my brand.
When there was any risk of loosing my smart image, I rather take the secure path. I decided with fear. This is why many smart people remain secure in jobs instead of creating the companies they dream about, this is why many live conservative lives, instead of running to other places or changing careers to follow their dreams, just because we play not to lose, instead of playing to win as it says the book. I don’t know the cause of it, but when there’s a 50/50 probability, we always think the worse option will prevail. It seems universally genetic. So, we avoid any risk. Some of the greatest achievements in the world have been made by people with not much to lose, or by people who took great risks, these are players, and most of us are spectators. We can watch the game of the world if we want, but we can not be spectators in our own life game. At the end, it’s very frustrating if you know you had everything to do what you wanted to do but you waste it.
This principle applies for beginning our projects, inviting somebody we like, buying something we want, investing. Not every time we’ll get the result expected, but we’ll get many of the results desired, and this will make us close o what we dream about.
Many times we feel trapped, with no possibilities to move ahead, without visible exits, but is our decision to chose moving towards what we want, to advance we need to take some risks, as long as some ventures are successful we’ll begin to advance. I finally forgot what people might think about me, and began to advance. It took me a life to make the first step, but the long walk began.
Ps: The name of the book is Play to win, by Larry Wilson