A Defining Trait of the Winners

What do you think makes the difference between winners and losers? While there could be multiple answers to this question, there is one that I’d like to focus on here:

Winners make the most of what they have while losers complain about what they don’t have.

Losers say things like these:

  • “If only ….”
  • “I wish I could …”
  • “I can’t do this because …”

Winners, on the other hand, say things like these:

  • “With this I can …”
  • “I can use this for …”
  • “This opens the possibilities for …”

As you can see, losers focus on the negative while winners focus on the positive. Losers focus on what they can’t do, while winners focus on what they can do.

A good example of this is the story of Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Colonel Sanders once had a successful restaurant. Life seemed good for him. But then something bad happened: authorities moved the highway junction in front of his restaurant to another site. As a result, the traffic to his restaurant plummeted. It went so bad that he eventually had to sell his restaurant. Worse, he was already 66 years old at that time.

If Colonel Sanders was negative, he would say things like:

  • “If only the authorities didn’t move the junction.”
  • “If only I’m still young.”
  • “It was great back then when I had a lot of visitors.”

He didn’t do that though. He had the attitude of a winner. Instead of lamenting his bad luck, he focused on what he could do to turn the situation around. He decided to make the most of what he had.

He didn’t have much at that time, but he did have one thing: his fried-chicken recipe. So he decided to make the most of it. He decided to sell his fried-chicken to restaurants. It was a long and difficult process, but he did it. And he did it big time.

You might wish that you have something today. Or you might miss something good that you once had. But guess what? Focusing on it won’t change anything. Focusing on it won’t improve your situation.

Take a different attitude instead. Focus on what you can do. Make the most of what you do have. It might be just a piece of paper containing a recipe, but with it you can do wonders.


  1. Anirban Chakraborty
    Anirban Chakraborty

    A nice article. Somehow, many of us are the mixture of negative and positive thoughts. But we must do slowly but gradually we should eliminate our negative thinking.

  2. Great post, Donald Latumahina! Another thing I’ve been working on to get into the “winner mindset” is to avoid being reactive. I think there’s a lot to do with your idea of “focus on what you can do”. When you find yourself in the middle of a conflict, instead of blindly reacting to it, you can pause and think of what’s the main goal behind the conflict, and how you can solve it.

  3. Soulileon O. Noel
    Soulileon O. Noel

    Nice article Donald.

    Life is never fair. A loser would sit and look at the unfair nature of life and be weighed down and remain backwards; while the man with a winner’s mind set knows the unfairness that life blows every human and never allows it to keep him/ her from reaching for the stars.

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