Legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi is often credited with the quote, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” In the book The Essential Vince Lombardi: Words and Wisdom to Motivate, Inspire, and Win, his son, Vince Lombardi, Jr., clarifies that quote.

Vince Lombardi and his winning quote misinterpreted

Lombardi did not come up with those words. UCLA coach Red Sanders actually said those now-famous words. Lombardi loved the sentiment, though. Variations of that theme made their way into many of his pregame speeches with the Green Bay Packers.

His son offered one of the mantras his father did use. “Winning isn’t everything, but trying to win is.”

Leave no regrets on the field.

Trying to win is everything

The problem I’ve always had with winning being “the only thing” is that it’s an all-or-none proposition. If you work hard and do your best but come up just short, you have failed.

Lombardi’s true belief – that trying to win is everything – is much more applicable to our work and our lives. That’s the motto we should follow.

Aim for being the best and not beating others

In whatever we pursue – our classes at school, competitions in sports, advancing in our career – we should absolutely aim for being the best. What’s important, though, is not how we compare to others but how we perform.

We should aim to do our best in everything we do. We must always strive to improve. We must live every day knowing we will work to become the best versions of ourselves.

Whether we beat everyone else isn’t the point. Doing our best and being our best is. And we will find that trying to be the best most often will lead to victory again and again.

Ready to win in every aspect of your life?

I’ve created a checklist of 12 qualities of the world’s best athletes and coaches that will help you win in your work and life. If you adopt these traits, you will succeed in every aspect of your life, every single day.

Get the checklist here!

Source: The Essential Vince Lombardi: Words and Wisdom to Motivate, Inspire, and Win by Vince Lombardi, Jr.

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