Home | Upcoming Events | Services | Results
Site Map | Member Login | Success Store | Contact


Latest Newsletter
Archived by date

Inspirational articles
Career satisfaction
Motivational articles
Goal setting
Sales and marketing
Humor and creativity
Technology articles

Free monthly success tips! Enter your email address!
Email Address:
I want to receive monthly Success Harmony Newsletter from CPR Coaching Services LLC

Motivational Keynote Speaker

Comedy Shows

Public Seminars

Executive Coaching

Personal Coaching

Business Coaching

Employee motivation and retention

Management and team building

Press Room

Motivational and business resources

Book and website link directory

Contact Us


April 2005
Success Harmony Newsletter


Think of the job you've always wanted. Think of the attractive and super-interesting person next door that you've always wanted to meet. How do you react in those situations? Do you boldly go and ask for what you want, or do you talk yourself out of trying, preferring to reject yourself before you gave them a chance to do so?

There are two ways to play in life. One is playing "to win", the other is playing "not to lose". When we play to win, we are approaching life with the gusto of Babe Ruth who struck out a lot because he tried to hit a lot of home runs (and, in fact, did hit a lot of them). When we play not to lose, we tend to hold back for fear of striking out. We may strike out less but we also hit fewer home runs.

So how do you know which game you are playing? It would be easy to say that "anytime you talk yourself out of going for something you want because you think that 'they' will say no to you, throw you out, laugh at you, blow you up in little pieces, eat you alive, etc., etc., those are the times you are playing not to lose." Life isn't quite that simple. There ARE times when it is a good idea to stand back. If you are about to walk into a cage with a hungry polar bear and ignore others telling you that you will be eaten alive, unless you have hand-reared that polar bear and he's used to you feeding him fish while you rub him on his belly and sing him lullabies, you are an idiot and deserve to be eaten. In fact, I think that's what Darwin talked about when he came up with his theories about survival of the fittest.

Most of us have no troubles recognizing that it is a good idea to stay away from polar bears, not to walk around with expensive cameras around your neck in the ghetto at night, and not to cheat on your tax return. It gets a little more difficult when you are deciding whether to start the business you've always dreamed of, are contemplating asking your girlfriend to marry you, or are about to walk into your boss' office to ask for a raise. In those cases, it is much too easy to come up with reasonable-sounding excuses to put off what you want to do. In many cases, the excuses sound so good that you never get to your idea at all! Some of these excuses are creative ones made up by you, for your belief only and the amusement of others. For example, one salesperson's favorite excuse for not making cold calls is that she isn't wearing her lucky shoes. One of my now-husband's excuses for us not moving in together earlier was that he needed seven months to clean his apartment. (Ahem. Yep, I did still marry him. I appreciate creativity. Oh, and in case you ask, the apartment looked no different seven months later when we did move in together…)

On the other hand, some excuses sound good to everyone around you, too. Yes, everyone will nod when you tell them you can't quit your job because you have a mortgage to pay. Few people will tell you if you thought of getting creative. There are business grants. There are loans. There are angel investors. There are parents and siblings with bigger pockets and fewer doubts in your idea than you have. There are credit cards. There are smaller houses with smaller mortgages. There are ways of starting with very little and growing it over time. As they say, where there's a will, there's a way. In this case, putting your dream off either means that it never really mattered to you in the first place (only you can tell that one, and only at the time when you first thought of the dream, way before you started thinking too hard about the implications of it!) or you've succumbed to the all-common "chickenitis". I know I've had it many a time, this classic playing not to lose example.

Good old America is full of rags to riches stories. While this is good for inspiration, it also can serve as a way of telling us that if we don't go from rags to riches in two days flat, we are failures. So we don't even try, preferring to hide behind our "no time, no money, no friends in high places" excuses. How sad, especially knowing that many real rags to riches stories aren't about someone getting discovered wearing pigtails in a grocery store and becoming an overnight millionaire. For every person who succeeded that quickly, there are thousands of people who fell flat on their faces for years, spent time chasing their tail, and filed for yet another bankruptcy while their next idea didn't quite work out again. Unfortunately, many of those stories involve many years of zig zagging and without much glamour, so they aren't particularly interesting to the media. But those are the stories of people who were playing to win - even when the results in their lives were telling them they were losers. These people, while perhaps hidden from the limelight of Fox News and reality shows, are those who have decided that playing it safe isn't for them.

What have you got up your sleeve that you've bought your own excuses for? Paintings you've been meaning to paint but that are gathering dust in the attic because you tried one that looked like something Picasso drew at the age of one, and so you decided to go back to movie-watching instead? The new business that has already grown to 100 world-wide locations in your head, but you haven't even made a single call to find out how to start a business? Whatever it is, how would you act if you only had six months to live and knew that, really, the next six months were you last chance to live your dreams? What dreams would stay on your list? What might you be willing to do for them, even if you might fail?

If there is anything on that list (and, yes, the "always wanted to" ideas may go from crazy to honourable, such as wanting to go skinny dipping in the town square fountain on a busy Saturday or starting the world's next sporting shoe empire), when will you go for it?

Sunshine and smiles,


To receive this free inspirational monthly newsletter, enter your email address:

Archived Newsletters



"I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot...and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
Michael Jordan

"Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."
Conrad Hilton

"The last dejected effort often becomes the winning stroke."
W.J. Cameron




NEWSLETTER: Latest Newsletter | Archived by date | Subscribe for newsletter
ARTICLES: | Inspirational articles | Career satisfaction | Motivation and change articles | Goal setting
Communication and relationship articles | Sales and marketing | Humor and creativity | Technology articles

Home | Site Map | Member Login | Upcoming Events | Success Store | Client Results
Coaching Programs | Corporate Consulting | Motivational Keynote Speaker | Corporate Comedy | Contact

© 2002 Pavla Michaela Polcarova, CPR Coaching Services, Vancouver, BC, Canada