During my visit to London for the 2012 Summer Games I got inspired for a blog series. In the London Underground, “Mind the Gap” is the constant warning to see and beware of the space between the platform and the train door literally a matter of life and death! Boarding my blog, however, is a 2-minute focus on the valuable difference between words or concepts that, without much thought, are used interchangeably, a difference that I am hoping leads us to decisions or behavior that empowers self and others!

What IS the difference, for example, between Playing to Win and Playing not to Lose?

A story

I watched a LOT of sports as a kid, and I remember once watching the Rams playing against the Falcons. The Rams had a big lead that grew smaller and smaller as the game moved on.bert_jones_1982_11_21

Finally, late in the 4th quarter, I remember one announcer saying that the Rams, have gone into their “Prevent Defense”, referring to a strategy of positioning that focused only on NOT letting the Falcons cross the goal line/end zone. The ONLY thing the defense was designed to do was to prevent scoring!

The other announcer quickly and cynically added, “Sometimes that prevent defense prevents you from winning!” And that is exactly what happened to the Rams. They lost. The ONLY thing they were focused on was the EXACT thing that occurred.

Has this ever happened to you? You get SO focused on preventing something from happening that it’s as if you are actually making it happen!

Well… you are!

Legendary speakers from Brian Tracy to Tony Robbins have always reminded us that, we become what we think about and that what we focus on BECOMES our reality. So, I ask, why don’t more people focus on what they DO WANT? Why are so many people consumed with preventing negatives in their life instead of CREATING POSITIVES?

Mind the Gap!

  • Playing to win is an act of courage and is focused on the outcome we DO want.
  • Playing not-to-lose is an act of fear and focused on the outcome we DON’T want.

play to win_not not

The Difference is HUGE isn’t it?

Do you know what you DO want? Do you have goals?and are they written down?

I ask because we know that Ivy League studies conducted on the topic of human performance support the fact that ALL HIGH ACHIEVING INDIVIDUALS set goals! Yet, despite knowing this ONLY 3% of our population takes time to set and write down their goals.

Like Public Speaking, it seems that people are more afraid of Goal Setting than death since 97% of our population NEVER takes the time to set goals. In fact, some people go an entire lifetime without writing down a single expression of something they want to achieve and BY WHEN they want to achieve it.

To Your Success!

Jeffrey Klubeck, M.A.

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