1967 Guide to Winners and Losers

I picked up the mail the other day and noticed that I had a letter from my Pa Pou (that’s Greek for grandpa). Now that’s not a big surprise because he is one of the few people I know that still writes letters and he likes to send us pearls of wisdom. I opened it out and found a copy of a 1967 Detroit Free Press article called: Winners & Losers : Their Key Traits by Sydney Harris. I read them and found it ironic that the things that their written about in 1967 still hold true today. Below is the article,

Winners and Losers : Their Key Traits

Part IV : How to Tell a Winner from a Loser:

A winner know that to forget and what to remember; a loser forgets what he should remember, and remembers what he should forget.

A winner seeks for the goodness in a bad man, and works with that part of him; a loser looks only for the badness in a good ma, and therefore finds it hard to work with anyone.

A winner admits his prejudices and tries to correct them in making judgements: a loser denies his prejudices, and thus becomes their lifelong captive.

A winner in not afraid to contradict himself when faced with a contradictory situation; a loser is more concerned with being consistent than with being right.

A winner feels challenged when odds are against him; a loser is always looking for “the edge.”

A WINNER APPRECIATES the irony of fate, and the fact that merit is not always rewarded, without becoming cynical; a loser is cynical without appreciating the irony of fate.

A winner possesses ideas; a loser is possessed by them, and so, even when successful, remains their slave

A winner knows how to be serious without being solemn; a loser isoften solemn as a substitute for his lack of capacity to be serious.

A winner looks it over; a loser looks it up

A winner rebukes and forgives; a loser is to timid to rebuke and too petty to forgive.

A winner recognizes that the only true authority is moral authority; a loser, having little of this, tries to assume more external authority than his character can handle.

A WINNER TRIES to judge his own acts by their consequences, and other people’s acts by their intentions; a loser gives himself all the best of it by judging his own acts by his intentions, and the acts of others by their consequences.

A winner feels that his past failures have contributed to his success; a loser feels that his past failures blocked his success.

A winner does what is necessary with good grace, saving his energy for situations where he has a choice; a loser does what is necessary under protest, and has no energy left for moral decisions.

A winner accepts the fact that, finally, no mortal can know who the real winners and losers are; a loser thinks that status and power and applause confer a kind of immortality upon him – and never wonders what the lessons of crucifixion might be.


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