In March, I began a journey of discovery. Like the rest of America, and probably the rest of the free world that follows celebrity related pop culture, I watched in awe and a certain degree of disgust as actor Charlie Sheen flitted around television and the internet (now the country) claiming he was a warlock, and telling the world that he was a winner who was #winning, and the rest of us were trolls. As this circus act unfolded, I began to think about the concept of winning….who was winning, what it meant to win, and, now that the word had been defiled to an extent, what was the future of winning in general. I knew only one thing for sure about winning-Charlie Sheen wasn’t doing it. He was having some sort of career and personal life destroying breakdown, but winning? Er, no…
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I realized that I am lucky to know a lot of awesome people…most of whom are just more or less living regular lives, some of whom have attained some notoriety, but all are most definitely Authentic Winners in life, unlike our friend Charlie. So, I thought wouldn’t it be cool to interview them and feature them in my new blog because they are the sort of people who actually are worthy of admiration for the things they are doing, at least a few moments in the spotlight, and millions of Twitter followers. I also wanted to explore this whole concept of winning for myself, so that I could define specifically what a winner does, how a winner acts, and how a winner conducts the life that they’ve been given.
Just to recap, over the last several weeks, I talked to the following authentic winners:
Scoliosis Awareness Advocate, Kerrie Bassow
Knit Creation Artist, Sharmon Cate Hardin
Renowned Miniature Clothing Artist, Jon Coffelt
Professional Photographer, Phil Hunt
And last but certainly not least,
Author and Motivational Speaker, Mary Foley
Each of these winners is vastly different from one another, which was purposeful on my part, because I believe that winners can come from all walks of life, and certainly don’t have to follow some set template for winning. I thoroughly enjoyed my “E-terviews” with each and every one of these individuals! They were all interesting, engaging, giving, and so very gracious. Without exception, each of them thanked me several times for featuring them in my blog. Imagine that! Trust me, readers, the pleasure was all mine, to have the opportunity to get a peek inside the lives and winning life strategies of true blue, authentic winners!
Despite their surface differences, by the time I had completed and posted all five of the E-terviews, I noticed a few common characteristics in the lives of each of these winners—traits and activities which, in the end, informed and further shaped my own concept of winning….
1) Winners aren’t afraid to be themselves and take their own paths in life. Each of my E-terviewees had some interest or another that was uniquely theirs—not someone else’s plan for them. They were brave enough to figure out who they were, what really interested them, what they wanted out of life, and they went for it!
2) Inevitably, each of my featured winners incorporated a strong desire to help others into their individual life path. In other words, there was not one winner on my list who had a totally self centered motivation for doing what they were doing. Each of these people are exceptional because they used their talents and their vision for good, to ultimately leave the world better than they found it.
3) Each and every one of the people I interviewed met with obstacles in life. What made them different, however, was that they each immediately set out to figure out innovative ways to either obliterate or find a pathway around the obstacles. They were not easily discouraged from achieving their goals and dreams.
4) Each winner I spoke with was literally brimming with self confidence, self assurance, and an unwillingness to let other people discourage them. In other words, it appears that a necessary ingredient for winning in life is to believe in yourself. This is not to be confused with narcissistic overconfidence, such as that which Mr. Sheen is exhibiting right now. Self confidence married with a humble, kind nature makes a winner.
5) And finally, winners are never afraid to evaluate the direction they have taken in order to regroup and even reverse course as needed, or to evaluate themselves to undertake reinvention of self. Winners purposely evolve over time, and if something isn’t working, the winner recognizes it, and acts accordingly to move forward to win another day!
I learned a lot from talking to real live Authentic Winners and finding out what makes them tick. If you already read the 5 E-terviews I posted with Kerrie, Sharmon, Jon, Phil, and Mary, then thanks! If not, I’d encourage you to take the time to click the links above and get to know these folks a little better. After all, every budding winner could use a little inspiration from some great role models!
Until next time…