The paradox of winning (Financial Athlete #10)

“There’s two kinds of people: winners and the not-so-winners,” says my tennis instructor.

It’s no secret winning brings glory in sports and there’s no glory in losing. Consistent winners become legends, while the “not-so-winners” are quickly forgotten. Nevertheless, these days it’s politically correct to think, “Everybody’s a winner.” This reflects an unfounded idealism.

Winners may be gifted with more talent, but what really sets them apart from the rest of us are an acute drive, game intelligence, and an ongoing commitment to improve their game.

Winners realize losing sometimes is inevitable. Losing challenges winners to play smarter and better at managing risks. It’s like sharpening a knife. Winners don’t fear losing, nor are they are reckless in pursuit of winning. Those who fear losing play it too safe and never come out ahead of the pack. The paradox of winning is you must risk losing to win.

“If you trouble imagining a 20% loss in the stock market, you shouldn’t be in stocks.” — John Bogle


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