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The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.
-- Linus Pauling


The MONTHLY Motivator - October 2003

What makes a winner

What makes a winner? It is not any one single thing, but rather an approach that incorporates a number of winning qualities. Here are several essential qualities that most winners share.

Clearly focused purpose and direction

To be a winner, you must know the game you’re playing. That sounds obvious, yet many people drift through life without any clearly defined purpose. Your efforts must be focused in order to be effective.

Without a clearly defined purpose and direction, you are easily distracted. Fulfillment is impossible. Your time gets eaten away by all the thousands of details that make up life. Without focus, you’ll may find that you constantly work hard but never really get anywhere. With no strong sense of direction and focus, you become easily discouraged, suffer from a lack of motivation, and start a lot of projects that don’t ever get finished.

To focus your efforts, and to maintain a solid sense of direction, it is important to find your own purpose. How do you find your purpose? Start by thinking about the things you value. Let’s say you value money. That’s a fairly common answer. OK, now ask yourself this. Why do you value money? What do you want it for? What will the money bring you? Let’s say your answer is “a new car.” Then ask yourself what the new car will bring you. The answer could be, depending on the car, “prestige” or “dependable transportation.” So ask yourself what that would bring you. Eventually, if you follow this line of reasoning seriously and thoughtfully, you will arrive at your very basic values and your purpose in life. All of your desires stem from your deep-down, fundamental values and purpose. And the way to discover and understand them is simply to work backwards until they are revealed.

Once you know your underlying purpose, it serves to greatly focus your life. Everything you do, can be viewed in relation to your overall purpose. You can set goals that you’ll be committed to, because they will be in harmony with the driving purpose in your life.

You can’t win the race, unless you know why you’re running. Work to understand your purpose.


Passion is pure energy. It is the motive force in life. Reason and logic can be disputed and debated. Passion simply pushes forward, blindly through anything. Passion cannot be stopped except through a greater passion.

Passion is like gasoline that you put in your automobile. By itself, gasoline is dangerous and easily ignited. Yet when fed to the well engineered and maintained engine, the gasoline can be a powerful, driving force. Indeed, the automobile cannot operate without it.

Similarly, your life cannot operate without passion, and yet pure, uncontrolled passion can be very destructive. When passion is channeled though discipline, focus and purpose, then it becomes a powerful driving force.

Without passion, life has no energy. You have no desire, no driving force. Even though you have a finely built and well maintained automobile, without gasoline it gets nowhere. Even though you might have all the tools and preparation for life, without passion nothing happens. Passion is the fuel for your life. You must have it to move ahead.

One way to develop passion is to get around passionate people. It will rub off. Passion is contagious. Study the accomplishments of passionate people. Look for the passion that has driven them to accomplish. Just considering the passion of others, will help to awaken the passion within yourself.

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--Ralph Marston

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