The Philosophy of Winning and Losing (And Why It’s Better to Be a Loser)

People are too focused on winning, and too afraid of losing.

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But have you ever analyzed both of these?

If you think about it, there’s no need to win. It’s wrong when we think we need to do it. You can have a beautiful life without it.
Moreover, winners are not as happy as we think.

What happens when you win? You have to achieve even more, you’re never good enough, or satisfied, others expect too much from you, and that’s just a lot of pressure.

But eventually there comes a time when you fail. Because, let’s face it, we’re all humans. Perfection is an illusion, and it’s out of reach even for the best in any area.

And having won and then lost destroys your world.

Also, winners become proud, feel invincible and superior to others, and thus make them feel bad. And even you winning means making someone else lose.
But what leader or role model are you if you make others feel bad?

Those who have a few victories usually become arrogant, think they’re in control, stop appreciating what they have and always ask for more.
This also makes them feel alone, ruins their relationships (as they want to win even there), others feel threatened by them.

So it turns out that you may win or reach the top of something, but you’re losing your soul.

Having this in mind, I can say that winners are the biggest losers.

And losers themselves are luckier. They are still happy, still down to earth, are keeping their hope and dreams alive. They don’t think they’re more than others and thus help, share, are compassionate and kind.

I’m saying all this because we tend to be focused on winning (and making others lose) so much in our daily life, that we can’t experience the beautiful days that are given to us.

And that doesn’t mean you should stop doing anything. No! Set goals, take action every day towards them and stay focused on the end result.
But do it for yourself, for the greater good. And not for society, to prove something or to win a competition. Because that’s where you lose direction and end up nowhere.

Also, there’s that misconception that failure is something awful.

But failing doesn’t mean you’re a loser. It means you try, do something about your life, take action.

Which puts your ahead of the majority of people that only do what society expects from them and never take the initiative or find the courage to speak up and set big goals.

We all need failure in our lives. It’s natural. It comes and goes and is an important part of our growing up and learning.

And when we accept every failure, just as we accept every success, we can find peace and finally enjoy whatever outcome there is.

Letting go of winning and losing means being free from striving.
Otherwise, you’ll always try to have, be or do something you’ll never reach.

Life becomes a race for triumph lovers. Always struggling to get to the top, always trying to be ahead of others, never enjoying life, never noticing the beauty around.

Don’t become that person.

That post is a bit controversial. There are many points of view. I’d love to hear yours. Share it in the comments below.

See also:

Beating Fear of Failure The Zen Way
10 Simple Steps to Benefit from Failure
Try Losing Some Moral Battles and Winning Some Real Ones
How to Embrace Losing and Find Out What Really Matters

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Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

16 Comments

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  1. Frankly, there is a real narcissistic part of winning. Winning and losing really means nothing. In a Buddhist mindset, all of this is pure utter nonsense. There is far too much emphasis on self esteem. Everything is about ego.

    It is interesting that the Asians are very low in self esteem scores yet score amazingly high on IQ and empathy. Their society is far more about community and family. Americans are more about individuality and that I think may cause problems. We are so much into our immediate gratification that we have lost touch with what is going on around us. Media is allowed to have pharmaceutical drugs advertise directly to the public. We are the only major country that allows this besides New Zealand.

    I see you have zen habits noted. Spirituality can not be obtained by constantly reaching out and idolizing things and people. Not having all of this keeps it simple.

    1. I’m all about letting go of all that. Otherwise, life becomes a competition. And we focus so much on the outside, that we forget it’s all about our inner self.

      I added zen habits as the whole idea of thinking about that and trying to free yourself from such thoughts and desires is a bit zen.

      Thanks for the comment. I like the examples you gave.

      1. Sometimes, we have to ask who are we really competing with and why? The question why is a good question. I would recommend the author Simek as a good read for you.

  2. My first thoughts: We learn more from our failures than we do from successes. Never failing means we may have chosen easy goals that don’t challenge us. I don’t like the idea of winning/losing because it sets up each situation as a competition—who’s the richest, most beautiful, the best writer, etc. I’d rather live and work in a cooperative environment, each person bringing their own unique gifts to the table. I’ve been lucky to find a few such places in my life.

  3. I enjoyed your blog very much. It is extremely well written, and I agree with you. As writers, authors, bloggers, we need to remain level headed. Win or lose, keep our attitude the same and keep reaching out to others to inspire and encourage; as my blog and book are for the same cause. We, also, need to take criticism the same as kudos.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I completely agree. Just came from a work environment that went from competing against ourselves (self-improvement) to competing against each other (winners/losers). All with one of those “healthy” UP bands. I bowed out when they competed against each other and watched first-hand how teamwork became devalued, collaboration ceased, departments fractured from one another, and people made themselves sick trying to prove they were better than a coworker they were paired up with. Of course it was all in the name of “health” and “fun”. In my opinion there was nothing healthy about it. And I saw no fun trying to prove one’s worth by daily besting another.

    1. It’s definitely no fun to me too. So much real talent and passion was wasted in that situation. And many people think that’s the way to be, unfortunately.

  5. A very good post Lidiya. Have you ever won an argument with a loved one? I never feel very good afterwards and I always wish I had not pushed my point to win – not that I intend to win. I’m very careful lately about how arguments escalate because I don’t want to get to the point of having to prove I’m right over my loved ones. I end up steering the “argument” to be a conversation which ends up with a solution. It works out best for everyone. And, when I my co-workers insist on being right about something, I let them be. I feel like I’m the stronger person allowing them that luxury,….as obviously they need that affirmation to feel better about themselves. I feel as though I have nothing to prove. My character stands for itself.

    1. I can’t remember an exact example right now, but I’m pretty sure I feel worse once I prove I’m right and ‘win’.
      I love your approach – let them be right, you help both them and yourself.

      Also, I think when having an argument with a loved one, there’s a certain moment when you have to choose whether to keep going and feed your ego, or stop, allow things to happen in their natural way, and win the battle with yourself – although it’s a passive approach, you actually overcome the resistance. It feels easier to keep going, that’s just what we’re used to. But you find the will to stop, let it be and move on.

      Thanks for the comment. Good one 🙂

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