Monthly Archives: November 2013

A Winning Game Plan for Life


 There are so many opinions of what makes a ‘winner’ in life and work.

In my experience, lasting success is never an accident. It is the result of one’s personal character.

As I write this, the city of my birth, Toronto, Ontario, is being besieged by the outrageous behavior of our Mayor Rob Ford, whose personal life of drunkenness, cocaine drug use has made Toronto the Good, sound more like Toronto the Stupid.

Mayor Ford is trying to base his credibility on the fact that he has cut taxes for the taxpayers and he has, but he has been successful in only one area of his life—his work life, but the rest of his life is a shambles.

This whole fiasco has caused me to wonder who is a winner.  The word ‘loser’ has been used a lot these last few weeks as they have thought about Mayor Ford.  To be thought of as a ‘loser’  is no way flattering.

Which causes one to ask, what are the traits of a winner, one who has a winning game plan for their whole life.

What  makes a successful life?  In short, lasting success is the result of personal character.  I have observed six qualities in winners I have worked with as a teacher, as a pastor, and presently as a life and leadership development coach.

Here’s a list of traits based on the ‘winner’ acronym:

  • Trait #1  Winners Work with a purpose.  They are ‘on purpose’.  They have a sense of mission.  They know where they are headed and have figured out how to get there. They are focused. They plan their work and work their plan.  As an ancient scripture says, “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”

How would you express your ‘purpose in life’ at this season of your life?

  • Trait #2  Winners Insist on Integrity.  It’s a fact that nothing lasts without integrity. Integrity comes from the word ‘integer which means a ‘whole number’.  The opposite of integers is ‘fractions’. When someone isn’t living with integrity, they are not ‘whole’, they are in ‘fractions’.  Winners tell the truth.  They don’t have to worry about being caught in a lie.  Unlike the good mayor, his life is being unraveled because he has not been able to contain his persistent lying.

Where in your life do you need to experience more integrity or wholeness?

  • Trait #3  Winners Never make excuses.  Winners never play the blame game.  They accept responsibility for their mistakes.  People who are good at making excuses are rarely good at much else.

In what area of your life do you need to stop blaming someone or some circumstance for your lack of success?

  • Trait #4 Winners Never stop learning.  All leaders are learners. The moment one stops learning, one stops leading.  One reason dinosaurs became extinct was that they couldn’t adapt to a changing environment.  A ancient piece of wisdom says, ‘the intelligent person is always open to new ideas, in fact, he looks for them.’

What have you been postponing learning that you need to address in your life to move forward?

  • Trait #5 Winners Economize their time and energy. We all have the same amount of time, but winners manage it better.  They realize that time is always more valuable than money.  They work smarter, not harder.   They believe and live by the maxim that there is a right time and right way to do everything.

Where in your life do you need to ‘plug’ the time leaks?

  • Trait #6 Winners Resolve to stick with it.  Winners don’t know how to quit.  They keep on ‘keeping on.’  They learn from their failures.  Winners realize that discouragement is choice.  You can get up and start over.  Winners don’t count the score at half time. They always have another round in them.  As King Solomon said, “For a good person falls seven times but then rises again..

Where have you felt like giving up?

These six qualities of a winning game plan are sound.  Just posting them up somewhere and reviewing them day in and day out can move us towards a winning way of life.  These traits can ‘raise our game’. Go for it!!

Graduation, Holy Determination and Spiritual Direction

imagephoto-4This  last weekend my beloved wife of 37 years—-Rosetta— walked across the platform to receive her Masters of Theological studies degree, after a four year journey of focused study, tenacity to finish, and to do it with excellence.  What’s most impressive is that 8 years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her rigorous radiation and chemo treatments, she decided to invest in her future by committing to an academic graduate degree. Her focus of study is in being a certified director, and she has already initiated her practice. Her clients speak well of her gentle and insightful approach to how she assists them in aligning their lives with God’s purpose for them.

I loved talking to one of Rosetta’s ‘clients’ who came to see her mentor graduate. She told me, ‘Rosetta is very wise and good at directing me’.

Rosetta has begun her practice of spiritual direction and if you are interested in exploring what a spiritual director could do for you, see her website at