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Winners and Losers

2009-09-03, door: Sidney Harris

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  • A winner says: “Let’s find out”; A loser says: “Nobody knows”.
  • When a winner makes a mistake he says: “I was wrong”; When a loser makes a mistake he says: “it wasn’t my fault”.
  • A winner credits his good luck for winning even though it wasn’t good luck; A loser blames his bad luck for losing even though it’s not bad luck.
  • A winner knows how and when to say yes and no; A loser says “yes but” and “perhaps not”  at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.
  • A winner isn’t nearly afraid of losing as a loser is secretly afraid of winning.
  • A winner works harder than a loser and has more time; A loser is always too busy to do what is necessary.
  • A winner goes through a problem; A loser goes around it and never gets past it.
  • A winner makes commitments; A loser makes promises.
  • A winner shows he’s sorry by making up for it; A loser says “I’m sorry”, but does the same thing the next time.
  • A winner knows what to fight for and what to compromise on; A loser compromise on what he shouldn’t, and fights for what isn’t worth fighting about.
  • A winner says, “I’m good but not as good as I ought to be”; A loser says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people”.
  • A winner listens; A loser just waits when it's his turn to talk.
  • A winner feels strong enough to be gentle; A loser is never gentle, he is either weak or petitty tyrannous by turns.
  • A winner explains; A loser explains away.
  • A winner feels responsible for more than his job; A loser says: “I only work here”.
  • A winner says: “There ought to be a better way to do it”; A loser says: “That’s the way it’s always been done here”.
  • A winner paces himself; A loser has only two speeds: hysterical and lethargic.


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