The Winner’s Mindset (Featured On The Straits Times – 23 March 2018)


I was at a leadership seminar with senior leaders recently. As we touched on the topic of success, a participant said that to succeed, a person needs to have a winner’s mindset.

When I asked what makes a winner, I received great answers and insights.

What exactly is the winner’s mindset? Do people naturally have it, or do we need to create it? Although most people would agree that having a winner’s mindset is important, only a few live by it.

Let’s look at three simple and yet hard truth to formulating a winner’s mindset.

1. It is not enough to just visualize, believe and achieve. 

To win, you need to do more than visualise, believe and achieve. There is something basic and yet more that we failed to recognize. The winner’s mind-set normally refers to the journey of success – but in fact, it points to how the journey of success is a journey of failures in disguise.

The toughest part in the success journey is not about believing, but believing after each failure, and continue to believe after multiple failures.

2. Failures will recur unless you learn your lesson.

The winner’s mind-set is a mental model, and the mental model come from lessons we learn. Such lessons do not come from success, but failures. But not all people learns the lessons quickly. Some may even miss the lessons entirely. When that happens, they will continue to fail until they get the lesson.

For example, if you fail to get a job that you want, the lesson might be how we can handle your emotion better when the interviewer asks a tough question. But people who don’t get the lesson are those who brush the encounter off as an accident, or the interviewer being picky.

3. Most people are not update their success mental model.

The continuous updating of your success mental model is crucial to your success. Each failure helps to update your mental model of success over time. Over time a person develops a winning mind-set because he has discovered what a winning mind-set means to him.

It may seem strange, but if you don’t’ fail, you don’t have a success blueprint or model to begin with.Some people require three failures to update their success mental model, while others requires more failures to learn the lesson the universe is trying to teach them.

Whatever it is, failures are important markers that formulate our success blueprint, and most importantly, are critical to building the winner’s mind-set.

In parting, like to share with you one of my personal quote; Fail Early. Fail Soon and Succeed with Ease. And yes, Easy is the last thing.