You don’t need to win in order to be a winner. This statement would be incorrect if you seek something besides self-improvement. In this blog, I will explain the real meaning of winning, in hopes that it will bring more clarity to your goal setting process.

Some people want to win the lottery while others want to win a gold medal. Some people want to gain control and others seek to acquire status or assets. Whether you know it or not, or like it or not, you are in a constant pursuit of a goal at any given time. This can be consciously or subconsciously. Most of the time, we attach a conscious goal to our quest for self-improvement. At the same time, there is always an underlying self-belief that is responsible for our subconscious self-sabotaging pursuit. Basically, we set goals with our conscious and we pursue with our subconscious. For some people, more often than you think, these are two completely separate things. You are just not aware of it.

There is a big difference between winning and growing.

Winning the lottery doesn’t make one a financial adviser. Winning a gold medal doesn’t make someone a role model either. Winning doesn’t make someone a winner and losing doesn’t make someone a loser. Period.

The real purpose of the goal setting process is self-improvement but, how many of us set goals with that intention? How many athletes start practicing a sport just because they want to learn a skill, not because they want to win championships? How many of us set goals because we passionately want to learn more about ourselves and not because we desperately seek outside validation?

I will let you answer these questions on your own; however, there’s no doubt most people believe that it is the achievement that gives one value and not their commitment to the self-improvement process.

Winning a million dollars from the lottery won’t raise your self-value, but earning that million would. A world title won’t help you stand up for yourself in an abusive relationship, your self-esteem will. How many times have you witnessed a famous athlete, businessman, or entertainer, who at one point was at the top of the world and before you knew it ended up broke or in rehab? I bet you can come up with a few names. The lesson here is no matter how much money you make, or how famous you become, or how many matches you win, that won’t necessarily make you richer, smarter, or wiser.

Winning is growing. Growing can only be possible if you have your best interest in mind and can only occur at your own expense. Growing is obtainable only when you take responsibility for your own actions and involvement. You don’t lose when you lose a fight. You lose when you fail to learn something about yourself. You don’t lose when someone else is better than you. You lose if you’re not better today than you were yesterday. You don’t win when you become physically strong; rather you do when you learn how to use your strength. You’re not a better person just because you do good deeds; you are when you feel good about doing good deeds. There’s a big difference between winning against others and winning against your subconscious sabotaging self-beliefs. There is a big difference between growing in your own eyes versus growing in someone else’s eyes. It’s not about what they think about you, it is what you think of yourself. By definition, self-improvement can only come from within, from your self. It’s self-validation you’ll need if you want to experience any growth and to notice any self-improvement.

Competing is a journey rather than a destination. Winning is acknowledging, not receiving. When you set a goal, make sure it has a healthy background and that it has your best interest in mind. You are more likely to spend more time pursuing your goals than actually enjoying your achievements. Therefore, make sure whatever you are pursuing, practicing, or working towards brings you happiness and joy, or why do it? If it’s not self-improvement you are chasing, then what are you chasing? If you’re not doing it for yourself, then whom are you doing it for? If LATER is when you’re going to start living your LIFE, what is it that you’re enjoying right NOW? If it’s not YOU who’s responsible for your own improvement, happiness, and joy, then WHO is?