The Wrong Place and the Right Place to Win In Your Life

I want to share a story with you. It really struck a chord with me.

It is a story about losing. Yet, at the same time winning.

How can this be?

Can you lose and win at the same time?

Losing or Choosing?

A close friend of mine recently told his group of friends that he passed up a promotion.

More interestingly, he was happy about it. Really?

A friend chimed in, “Why are you happy that you didn’t get promoted?”

He replied, “Because I wasn’t trying to win at work.”

Mouths were agape. Follow-up questions flew, “Why? Don’t you want to be successful? Don’t you want to be a winner?”

He replied, “I did win… I chose to win at home.”

He smiled and turned to go home to his wife and 3 kids.

Winning In All The Wrong Places

We are conditioned by society to do everything in our power to scale the corporate ladder.

More work. More pay. More effort.

Yet, we do this at the expense of our family. Our relationships. Our health. And more.

Why do we do this? When is enough, enough?

As the cliché goes, “On their deathbed, nobody says that they wished they had spent more time at the office.”

Or put another way…

“Should have spent less time making loot

And spent more time in my birthday suit …with you.”

- Train

When you are older, will you wish you had spent just more time at work?

Or with those that you love?

It’s a choice you make today. And every day.

Knowing Where To Win

My friend passed up a prestigious high-paying job. However, it turns out that this position required 75% travel, some of it overseas.

His coworkers were stunned when he turned down the opportunity. However, his wife and three kids were overjoyed that he would be home more and not on the road.

Sometimes you don’t lose, but you choose to win in the right place.

Are you winning where you should be?

Better yet, do you know where you should be winning?

Question: Where are you trying to win? Where should you be winning?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Amanda

    I absolutely chose “not to win” at work by asking to go from full-time to part-time two years ago. I was approaching burn-out and was finding it harder and harder to leave work at work. My boss has never understood my decision, but then, he doesn’t have a family. I think it’s the best choice I ever made at work.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Amanda… thanks for sharing.

      That is great example of “choosing where to win.”

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Profound! 

  • http://twitter.com/HomemakersDaily HomemakersDaily

    Great story.  And it emphasizes the point that you have to do what works for you regardless of what other people think.  I experienced that years ago when I quit a high paying part-time job.  My friends thought I was crazy but the stress of that job was taking a toll on my home life and the pay was’t worth it.  They thought I was crazy but it was absolutely the right thing.  You have to do what works for you and not do something just because it’s expected.

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Thanks for sharing… you point is well taken, as well.

      It is amazing how much is “expected” of us in society when it comes to work… that goes against what may be best for us.

  • Bhushan

    What a great article. Knowing where to focus feels very rewarding. Its about what works for you and not about what others think is right for you. Check out this article that I found works as a reminder…http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/01/top-five-regrets-of-the-dying

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      Thanks for sharing. Great article!

  • http://www.writechangegrow.com/ Thea | Write Change Grow

    Hi Craig
    I can totally understand his decision.Your friend was aligning with his most important values.  If he had taken the promotion, it would have meant he would have had strongly conflicting values which would make his life a misery.  I am sure there are many marriages that have broken up over this exact thing.  He made the best choice for him and his family.  Wise move.CheersThea

    • http://www.timemanagementninja.com/ Craig Jarrow

      I agree.. many people make the choice to win “at work” and do not consider what will happen “at home.”

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