Everyone wants to be a winner. Just what is a winner, anyway? Is it someone who never fails? Does a winner always win every game they play? Do they succeed at everything they put their hand to? Of course not! If that were the case, there would be no one on earth who would qualify to be called a winner.

A good way to determine just what it takes to be a winner is to think of what a winner is not. The opposite of a winner is not a loser - it is a quitter. People who "win" at life, who accomplish their goals and do great things, are those who keep trying. Instead of letting a little setback knock them off course, they dust themselves off and take another go at it.

Often, we might not identify ourselves as quitters. Maybe we are in the habit of simply changing goals. When we hit a snag on the road to one goal, it's easy to just chuck it and replace it with another objective. This habit is not the habit of a winner, however. It may not look like giving up, but it really is the same thing. There may come a time when you have to back off on a goal or put it on a back burner for a while. If it's worth pursuing, though, don't give up on it all together.

Realize that failure is part of winning. Every winner fails many many times on their road to success. These failures are a chance to learn. Don't let a little setback dampen your enthusiasm for the goal. Let it just make you tougher. Let those little defeats along the way make you wiser. Let them make you a better player. Challenges are necessary for our muscles, both physical and mental, to be exercised and strengthened.

Here is another characteristic of a winner. Winners have their eyes open for opportunities. Things change, and opportunities don't last. A winner will take the chance and go for it when the opportunity arises. Having the vision to notice the opportunities requires having a positive outlook on life. Winners are positive people. They believe they can eventually win the prize if they keep working toward it. In fact they don't just believe it - they know it.

Life is full of ups and downs. It's the same for winners at life as it is for losers. The key to a winning attitude is to not let the downs keep us down. Hard times won't last forever. Hang in there, and before long, things will be going your way again.

There's a simple way to keep on the up side emotionally even when everything seems to be falling apart on the outside. That way is to develop an attitude of thankfulness. Being thankful for the little things in life that are still right helps us to be tough and not quit on the things that are not working well for the time being. If you want to become a winner, let thankfulness become part of your personality.

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