Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winners and Losers

Some 30 years ago, I had, as one of my major clients, some very large distributor organizations of one of the well-known, long established, successful multi-level marketing companies. These people bought hundreds of thousands of audio cassettes of their training and motivational programs from me. I became one of their distributors for a number of years since I was going to their various seminars, rallies and training programs to record them. As a distributor member, I was able to gain access to the inner circles of the power structures of these organizations.

One of the more charismatic leaders of these distributor groups, on several occasions, would expound from the stage in front of assembled groups of distributors, often numbering between 10,000 and 12,000 people, that anyone who did not see this business and get into it was a loser. In other words, if you didn't "get it" and "join it" you were a loser. I had a hard time with that kind of rhetoric.

I had already been an entrepreneur and small business owner for over 20 years by this time. I knew lots of other small businessmen and women and dealt with many huge, multi-national companies. I never even considered the people who serviced my car, picked up my garbage, drove the trucks that delivered the hundreds of thousands of audio cassettes, boxes and packaging I used in my duplication business, the UPS man who picked them up and delivered them to this group of distributors, the folks who worked at the grocery stores, clothing stores . . . you get the picture, to be losers.

Let's face it, even if you're living free as I do and location independent as I am, you and I still rely on an untold number of people doing all kinds of jobs and operating all kinds of businesses. In some manner we are, in today's world, connected to people around the world. I don't consider any of them losers. As a matter of fact, I often thank whoever I may come in contact with for doing whatever they are doing because they are making my life better and easier.

Sure, you might look at people who are unemployed, homeless and alcoholics or drug addicts as losers. But, there is a story behind every one of these people. Unfortunately, many of those people and even many of their employed brethren may consider themselves losers. And as you've probably heard before, if you think you can, you probably can, if you think you can't, you can't. If you choose to believe you're a loser, you're a loser. You are what you think you are.

Losers Aren't Born!

Here's the reality. Losers aren't born. Losers have, at some point in time, made a conscious decision to be a loser. It is most likely because of a combination of contributing factors. They may have been born into circumstances that gave them negative conditioning and feedback. They may have fallen under the influence of less than uplifting people. They may have been taught that winning is everything and you always have to be on top, but if you lose a job, a major account, a spouse, whatever it might be, you lose, thus, you are a loser. Without knowing the back story, there's know way to discern the facts and reality about a person. They have chosen to label themselves and accept the position and lifestyle of what they perceive a loser to be.

There's a story about an alcohol and drug addicted, homeless man by the name of Ted Williams. Ted was discovered on the streets of Columbus, Ohio panhandling for money in exchange for demonstrating his "golden voice." He had been a radio announcer and done some other voice-over work in the past, but had fallen victim, by his own hand, to alcohol and drug abuse. He had lost his family, his home and everything he had and now lived as one of those homeless people many of us have see in our cities around the country.

A videographer for a Columbus newspaper discovered Ted, did a video of Ted demonstrating his "golden voice" and recorded an interview with him. Today, only a couple years later, Ted Williams is back to being a productive member of society. It wasn't an easy climb from obscurity, homelessness and addiction. The story has numerous twists and curves. The important thing is that Ted actually recognized he had a gift. He never lost the gift, he simply lost his way. He prostituted himself using his voice on street corners to gather "donations" that he used to continue feeding his addictions. Ted chose to be a loser. Interestingly, some other people recognized Ted's gift and looked past his self-victimizing, loser attitude and gave him the opportunity to work his way back to the winning side of the scoreboard.

Life is still not perfect for Ted, but he's no longer homeless. He is working and using his "gift," his "golden voice," to reestablish himself. Ted was not and is not a loser, only as he chose to be and portrayed himself to others. You can Google Ted Williams, voice-over artist, to learn more about his story. He'll come up with another winner, Ted Williams, the Boston Red Sox, Baseball Hall of Fame legend.

You Are The Chooser and Decider

So, no matter what you do and how you choose to live your life, you determine if you are a winner or loser. Here is reality. Not everyone is going to be a Sam Walton (WalMart), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Bill Lear (Lear Jet), Michael Dell (Dell Computer), Henry Ford (Ford Motor Company), Helen Gurley Brown (Cosmopolitan Magazine), Annie Liebowitz (American photographer), Elvis Presley ("The King"), Michael Jackson (King of Pop) or Dolly Parton (singer, song writer, actress and owner of Dollywood theme park). This list goes on and on. But, none of these people would have achieved what they did if there weren't millions of winners pulling all the levers and knobs behind the green curtain (reference from the Wizard of Oz). The list of supporting roles of winners is many, many times longer than the first list.

You are a winner and should never allow anyone to call you a loser, if you're living the life you choose to live. Living Free isn't just about being the least restricted and limited by laws, rules, regulations, covenants or other external forces. Living Free is about YOU making the choices for YOUR life.

Someone once said to me, no matter how good or bad your life is right now, it's because of the choices you made. If you're right where you want to be in life and you're happy, it's because you chose to be there. If you're not happy with where you are in life, you're still there because you chose to be there. You are exactly where you are in your life because you chose to be exactly where you are. If you're not where you want to be, then you're free to choose to change it. And never say you can't, because if you say you can't, you're right, you can't.

Just like Ted Williams, the voice-over artist, it was a very difficult transition to give up the alcohol and drugs that he allowed to control his life and take control of his own life. Change is seldom easy. But, it's necessary to get to where you want to be.

There are no losers, only winners if you choose to live free. You get to make the choices, easy and hard. You get to pay the price whatever it is, if you want whatever it is bad enough. If you're reading this blog, you're a winner and I'm humbled that you choose to read these words. 

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