Champ Or Chump?

By: D. A. Slinkard

This is a story about two people, one person named Ed and the other person named Sawyer. Two different people indeed, but they were both born into the same family. One was successful and the other was a bum. You could say that one was the champ while the other was the chump. This is a fictional story I just conjured up in my mind; so if your name is Ed and your brother Sawyer is doing better than you in life, just relax, this story is not technically about you.

However, this story depicts the lives of millions of individuals living throughout the United States. You have some people who do well in life while others will be struggling just to make it. We truly live in the greatest country known to man because of all the opportunities we have at our disposal. You can be anything in life you want to be if you just put your mind to it. The problem is that too many people do not really want to put their minds to it. We have become a nation accustomed to being lazy.

We live in the age of convenience in which if people have to work to get something, they do not want to do it. Not too long ago, I was talking to a young adult, and he told me of his aspiration to be a millionaire by the time he turned thirty. I asked him a question that obviously had never been posed to him before. How exactly are you going to be a millionaire within the next eight years when you have not had a job, are not looking for a job, and plan on staying at home with Mom and Dad?

This is the society we live in today in which we have these people desiring a million-dollar paycheck with minimum wage work. This is not going to happen. Again, if you take the example of Ed and Sawyer from above, you have two people from the same household; one is a success while the other is not. What is the difference? I am a believer that it comes down to mentality.

Sometimes people think that being confident in your abilities is a bad thing. Let me set things straight — there is a difference between being confident and being cocky. Too many people no longer believe in themselves, no longer believe in their ability to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and no longer believe they can make it. Point blank — we need to stop coddling our children, because someone is going to have to step up to the plate with the right mentality.

What is that right mentality? It is one where someone knows what it is to be a success only because they know what it is like to be a failure. I have failed many times in my life and because of this, victory is bittersweet. Yet, sadly, too many people have not felt the discomfort of losing until life smacks them in the face, and because these people were always told they are winners, they suddenly do not know how to handle the reality of being a loser in life. In reality, these people are not complete losers because everyone is going to fail at one time or another. Think about Abraham Lincoln and the many failed attempts he had in life, or maybe Thomas Edison. The fact is that bad things are going to happen to everyone.

For success to happen in your life, you are going to have to start to expect success to happen. Luck in life is only going to take you so far, but there is going to come a point in your life when you are going to have to depend upon yourself. This goes back to the “pull-yourself-up-with-the-bootstraps” mentality because the magical and mythical “goal fairy” is not going to come in the middle of the night and bring you the dreams you have been wishing for.

For me, I get this overwhelming sense of success, and this feeling builds up inside of me so I know that no matter what life throws at me, I will be successful. I guess you could say the difference with my mentality is that I expect success to happen while other people hope they will find success. Expecting success is the one attribute more people need to have. More and more people need to expect to be the champ, not the chump.

By: D. A. Slinkard

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