How To Win Without Succeeding

Tennis Lessons For Ordinary People



How To Win Without Succeeding - Failure is The Norm

The concept of "How To Win Without Succeeding" may sound counter-intuitive but it reflects reality.

Most motivational speeches have an anecdote that features how someone overcame tremendous odds and yet came home a winner.

The personal development and self-help world is steeped in case studies and analysis of success. Numerous studies have been undertaken on successful people to understand what it was that they did to become so successful, how they did it and when they did it - and we are led to believe that we too can achieve comparable success if we replicate this.

We are told by the self-help gurus:

“You can be anything you want to be, if you put your mind to it.”

“Your thoughts have resonance and if you think enough positive thoughts for long enough, they will manifest.

But that is just not true.

This focus on success is very odd given that:


Success is the exception rather than the rule

Every scientific discovery, every new invention, every great innovation, every new idea of substance is the product of innumerable failures.

Most people do not realize all of their dreams. Most of the time, most of us fail. Hard work, skill, focus and persistence are not enough without the randomness of chance and the alignment of many factors, principally being in the right place with the right offering at the right time in the right environment.

For every successful business person there so many more who have failed - over 95% of new businesses fail.

Many people do not find the life-partner of their dreams.

Failure is the norm. Most of the time, your plans do not work out as you wanted them to.


Understanding Our Forgotten Failures

"The first reason to turn towards failure is that our efforts not to think about failure leave us with a severely distorted understanding of what it takes to be successful. " (Oliver Burkeman)

Here are some pointers to help you understand:


  • Winners are not the norm - failure is the norm and winners are the exception. People like Bill Gates are the exception, the anomaly. Modelling yourself on Bill Gates will not make you into a major success.
  • Winners are outliers – they do not represent the common experience and they do not tell the whole story
  • Survivorship bias – a cognitive distortion that skews your understanding when you wrongly assume that success tells you all you need to know and thus you overestimate the real odds of success.
  • Ignoring the base rate data - that is, the odds of success (or failure) based on prior probabilities. In practice this means ignoring the percentage of a population or universe of data which has a particular characteristic. Successful people usually represent a very small subset of all those in their field.
  • Confusing co-incidence and causation - success is often attributed to a correlation or causation that just does not exist.
  • Craving a credible and coherent success story - the successful exceptions feed your need to believe that if they can do it so can you.
  • Inflated perception of your chances of success - you need to be cautious of advice from the successful and deeply realistic with your understanding of reality.


Where does all this leave us? The notion that you might fail can really slow you down. But it’s not the failure itself that’s the problem. The problem is your relationship with failure.

A good failure is a powerful learning experience.

So accepting your limitations, and embracing failure as an opportunity to learn, improve and grow, what next?

Well this is where you can gain valuable insights from the world of tennis about how to win without succeeding.






How To Win Without Succeeding By Avoiding Losing


"Amateurs win the game when their opponent loses points, experts win the game by gaining points. " [Shane Parrish]

Simon Ramo, a scientist and statistician, wrote a fascinating little book in the 1970s: Extraordinary Tennis Ordinary Players.

Ramo identifies the crucial difference between the winner’s game and a loser’s game.

In his essay, The Loser’s Game, and referencing Ramo's work, Charles Ellis calls professional tennis a “Winner’s Game.” While there is some degree of skill and luck involved, the game is generally determined by the actions of the winner

Amateur tennis is an entirely different game. Not in how it is played or the rules but, rather, in how it’s won. Long and powerful rallies are generally a thing of the past. Mistakes are frequent. Balls are constantly hit into nets or out of bounds. Double faults are nearly as common as faults.

Over many years' of observation and analysis Ramo had concluded that there were 2 games of tennis. One game is played by the professionals and the other is played by the rest of us.

Ramo found that 80 percent of points in high-level matches between professional players were the result of winning shots and only 20 percent the result of unforced errors by one’s opponent.

In contrast, the dynamics of matches between amateurs were reversed. Eighty percent of points came from unforced errors.

An amateur player seldom “beats” an opponent; rather, the player who makes the fewest mistakes, who simply continues to keep the ball in play, usually ends up winning.

From Ramo’s perspective, if you want to win at tennis, you have to adjust your strategy to your abilities.

For the “ordinary” tennis player, this means understanding that amateur tennis is a “loser’s game” where success comes from avoiding losses.

The point is that most of us are amateurs but we refuse to believe it. This is a problem because we’re often playing the game of the professionals. What we should do in this case, when we’re the amateur, is to invert the problem and focus on how to win without succeeding:

Rather than trying to win, we should avoid losing.






How To Win Without Succeeding By Avoiding Stupidity and Unnecessary Errors



Two examples:


[1] NETWORKING & REFERRALS

Key Point:

Accept that just because someone you know and trust believes something to be true, does not make it so [until corroborated by market data] it just means that they genuinely believe it to be true.

Specifics:

Starting out

  1. Due diligence is the start [and usually the end] of all new relationships.
  2. Knowing the right questions to ask and asking them.
  3. You are only ever as good as the weakest link in your/your buyer/supplier’s end–to-end process - a major dependency and one to be identified ASAP.
  4. Ask for and insist on process from the outset – see non-compliance as an early warning signal.

 First impressions

  1. First impressions [instincts & intuitions] can be right.
  2. Don’t be over-awed or impressed by wealth, prestige and power.
  3. Don’t rely on people’s own assessment of their worth – without corroboration from your own direct experience.
  4. Don’t rely on someone else’s assessment of a person’s worth – without corroboration from your own direct experience.

 Developing the relationship

  1. The importance of: good communications, good relationships, controlling emotions and not burning contacts.
  2. You really cannot truly know someone’s strengths and weaknesses until you have been in action with them for a long time i.e. 12 months+
  3. Knowledge is subordinate to results.

  Early warning signs

  1. Identify early warning signals of “talk-walk” gap.
  2. Look for early signs of those who “punch above their weight”.
  3. Be wary of people who are distrusting and overly protective of disclosure – they are often hiding something and/or untrustworthy.
  4. Ambition in a partner is a good thing but identify early warning signals of people who: “don’t know what they don’t know, and don’t know that they don’t know”.







[2] DECISION MAKING & EXERCISING JUDGEMENT

Key Point:

Understand and know how to avoid: [1] Cognitive Distortions - the psychology of human misjudgement; and how to apply [2] Mental Models.

Specifics:

  1. The first and most obvious point is to understand and be fully aware of these cognitive biases and cognitive distortions.
  2. Understand the power and pitfalls of Heuristics i.e. the mental short cuts that we all use all the time in everyday decisions.
  3. Understand the forces at play, especially the boundary between knowing what you do know and what you don't know. Understand your Circle Of Competence.
  4. When making important and significant decisions, invest the time to apply good Thinking Skills to the whole decision making process.
  5. Pay particular attention to First Principles Thinking and Second Order Thinking
  6. Understand and apply Mental Models








How To Win Without Succeeding With The Balanced Toolkit


Here is how it all hangs together.







I have listed above - with references and resources - some examples of how to win without succeeding in significant areas in life and business  and where we can all take steps to increase our chances of winning by losing less.

This is a long game and if you engage you will find that the route to winning will take you along the road less traveled.

Feel free to contact me to discuss further if any aspect of this resonates with you.








How To Win Without Succeeding - Further Reading

The Long Game

The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled

Delayed Gratification

The Law of Response and Outcome

Embracing Uncertainty & Failure Is The better Option

Alive Time vs. Dead Time

Your Relationship With Failure

The Secret Of My Success

The Luck Factor - The Power Of Expectation

Secret Of Success - Identify Your Core Desire

Your Point Of Focus - Is Helping You Or Hindering You









Return from "How To Win Without Succeeding" to: Home Page




English Chinese (Traditional) Russian French German Italian Spanish Vietnamese




LATEST ARTICLES

  1. Intuition & Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Calling Here?

    How To Tell The Difference Between Intuition and Anxiety. How do you know whether the voice of your intuition is real or just the product of your inner anxiety? We all struggle with these inner voices…

    Read More

  2. Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery

    It Isn't The Process Of Prayer That’s The Problem, It’s The Way It’s Framed. Regardless of what we feel about Madonna or her song the topic of prayer often arouses strong reactions. Usually, it is som…

    Read More

  3. Fear Of Missing Out - "I'll Have What She's Having!"

    We Follow The Herd - We Mimic Other People's Choices. Fear of missing out - or FOMO as it is popularly referred to - is the feeling that everyone else in your peer group is having much more fun than y…

    Read More

  4. Free - Self Improvement Resources

    Exercising Balance and Discernment. I have just updated these self improvement resources with a number of additional sources of material that are practical and can help you change your life. Check it…

    Read More

  5. Your Higher Self - Your Hardwired Portal To The Universe

    This Is The You That Is Beyond Your Thinking Mind. This is the big you, the transcendent you, the you that is often referred to as your higher consciousness or higher self. This is the you that acts a…

    Read More

  6. The Power Of Gratitude - It's Good For You!

    Gratitude And Attitude Are Not Challenges, They Are Choices. The power of gratitude quite simply is that it is good for you! Many of us were raised by parents who instilled in us the social niceties o…

    Read More

  7. Living With Your Thoughts - 4 Tools To Help You

    Develop A Good Working Relationship With Your Mind. The first step in living with your thoughts is to understand and develop a good working relationship with all areas of your mind. The key to develop…

    Read More

  8. You Are Not Your Thoughts - How To Escape This Ferris Wheel Of Suffering

    The 4 Stages To Dealing With Your Thoughts. You are not your thoughts, at least that's what your rational mind tells you most of the time, but that's definitely not how it feels at 3 am when you have…

    Read More

  9. Finish What You Start - Action Will Destroy Your Procrastination

    4 Key Tips To Help You Finish What You Start. So why do you fail to finish what you start? Or in my case, why do I fail to even get started? There is a wealth of information out there about how to avo…

    Read More

  10. Going The Extra Mile - The Power Of One More

    Life Is Non-Linear, Which Makes The Rewards Of Continued Effort Disproportionately Big. In the pursuit of a long term goal you have to go countless extra miles to set yourself up for a big success. Go…

    Read More

  11. Tao Te Ching - Connecting To Your True Source Of Power.

    How To Be Lived By The Tao. The Tao Te Ching is one of those books that many people read, few understand, and even fewer put into practice. The only way to know the Tao is to experience it, and it is…

    Read More

  12. Dying To Self & Dropping The Ego

    Everything Does Not Revolve Around Me. The two phrases dying to self & dropping the ego are Christian and Buddhist expressions of the same fundamental truth - the need to correct the inbuilt, hardwire…

    Read More

  13. The Confident Mind - 4 Keys To Peak Performance

    Peak Performance Is Meditation In Motion. Peak performance is grounded in the Tao practise of Wu Wei which means "doing with out doing". This is all about how you take action by being so immersed in p…

    Read More

  14. Going With The Flow - The Balance Of Being And Doing

    Steer The Boat Each Day Rather Than Plan Ahead Way Into The Future. Going with the flow is about learning to become comfortable with uncertainty, and learning how to exploit the potential hidden withi…

    Read More

  15. 8 Principles For Success

    A Timeless Foundation On Which To Build Your Success. There are Universal laws and processes that work to support us and guarantee that we achieve all our goals. But first we need to know what they ar…

    Read More

  16. The Loving Father

    A Love That Will Not Let You Go. I had a loving father. I knew that I did, but I never felt it. My father was a good man but very damaged and unable to show his feelings. So I grew up knowing in my he…

    Read More

  17. Your Ebenezer Stone Of Help

    How To Stay Connected To Your True Source Of Power. Approximately 2,500 years ago the Israeli town of Kafr Qasim was close to the site of two battles between the ancient Israelis and their neighbours…

    Read More

  18. The Stockdale Paradox

    How To Deal With The Attrition Factor. The Stockdale Paradox is named after the late James Stockdale, former vice presidential candidate, naval commander and prisoner of war during the American-Vietna…

    Read More

  19. Embrace Your Fear Of Failure And Uncertainty

    We Celebrate Success And Ignore Failure. Numerous studies have been undertaken on successful people to understand what it was that they did to become so successful, how they did it and when they did i…

    Read More

  20. The Wilderness Years - 3 Keys To An Exit

    How You Got Into The Wilderness Matters Less Than The Lessons To Be Learnt There. The wilderness years can be described as any lengthy time, longer than a year, that is spend aimlessly; without an imm…

    Read More

  21. Boredom – Your Greatest Threat to Results

    We Live In A World That Glorifies The Results And Not The Process. We all know what we should be doing, but the trouble with that is that sooner of later we get bored. The enjoyment fades, the excitem…

    Read More

  22. The Luck Factor - 4 Basic Principles

    You Can Master The Art of Creating Your Own Luck By Mastering 4 Key Principles "The Luck Factor" is the title of a book published 20 years ago based on the research of Professor Richard Wiseman who fo…

    Read More

  23. Your Relationship With Failure Is Critical To Your Success

    Just Because You Have A Spectacular Failure Doesn’t Mean The Game Is Over. The thought that you could fail can really slow you down. But the problem is not the failure, the problem is your relationshi…

    Read More

  24. Lost, Stuck & Going Round In Circles?

    Are You Lost In Transition? To be in an alien North African city, late in the evening, in the dark, completely lost in transition from the main market square back to the obscure location of our Riad…

    Read More

  25. Seeing Is Believing Or Is It?

    Do You Believe What You See Or Do You See What You Believe? Like the characters in "The Matrix" we are fooled by the illusion that what we see is how things really are. Why? Because this is the mind's…

    Read More

  26. What Difference Did You Make?

    What Impact Will You Leave In The Lives Of Others? If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of yo…

    Read More

  27. Compassion Is Selfish And You Need It

    If You Want Others To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. If You Want To Be Happy, Practice Compassion. Compassion is derived from the Latin words "com pati" meaning to suffer with. It has been defined as…

    Read More

  28. The Placebo Effect - 2 Key Takeaways

    The Power Of Expectation Of An Outcome Regardless Of The Lack Of Any Substance To That Expectation. Traditionally, the placebo effect occurs when false, or dummy, treatments of inert substances [that…

    Read More

  29. The Red Pill

    This Is What Will Happen After You Take It. "This is your last chance," rebel leader Morpheus tells Neo, holding a coloured pill in each hand. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in y…

    Read More

  30. Transformational Life Hacks

    This Has To Be One Of The Best Ways For Living The Best Life You Can Possibly Live. An online search on life hacks will invariably provide you with multiple links to ways of increasing your productivi…

    Read More


Get new posts by email:






Zen-Tools.Net





Support This Site