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How Not to be a Loser

Updated on February 14, 2017

Don't Do What Losers Do!

1. Stop hanging out with loser friends.

2. Stop living in a loser neighborhood or city.

3. Get out of that loser job.

4. Don't dress like a loser.

5. Stop going to loser stores, restaurants, bars, etc.

6. Stop eating loser food.

7. Don't waste your time with loser hobbies.

8. Stop hoping for a lucky break.

9. Stop dwelling on the past.


Tony Robbins on How to be a Winner!

What is a Loser?

We first have to define what a loser is, before we can discuss how not to become or be one.


The first thing that needs to be said is that a loser is not someone who doesn't have money. Money does not define who you are nor does it define your life. However, if you don't have money simply because you are lazy or you spend it as soon as you get it, then you might be a loser...

Firstly, a loser often doesn't recognize that s/he is a loser! Most people. if they thought they were a loser, would work hard to change that, thus meaning that s/he is not, in fact, a loser. It's like alcoholism - alcoholics either don't know that they're alcoholics, otherwise they deny the fact. Think carefully about yourself for a moment.

The main definition of a loser is someone who doesn't strive to improve their life every day.

That's right. Even if you have enough money in the bank to last you the rest of your life, but you're not improving your life - or doing something worthwhile - then you are a loser. That's why a loser can come in many shapes and forms. A person who is in their late-20s/early-30s that continues to live the club life of their late-teens/early-20s... yet does nothing else important in their lives, is probably a loser (you probably know someone like this!). Not that going out and enjoying yourself is a bad thing - but what else have you got going on in your life other than socializing?

Another definition of a loser is someone that thinks s/he knows everything, but in fact there is a whole world of things they don't know that they don't know! I'm sure you've met someone like this; and hopefully, you kept your distance! This type of loser also necessarily has a closed mind, which is a negative feedback loop: their mind is closed to new information, yet they think they know everything. No one can know everything, and in fact, the smartest people in this world know a lot about a few things and not too much about everything else.

If you are reading this, you might feel like you're a loser today (for whatever reason), but the fact that you are reading this means that you are taking steps to change your life; therefore, you're not actually a loser! You just need to take the right steps and you'll change your present situation over time.

Becoming your ideal self takes time, but as Confucius once said, "A journey of a thousand li starts with one step."

Time to find new friends!
Time to find new friends!

Loser Habit #1

1. Stop hanging out with loser friends.

If you judge success by how much money you make, there is a saying that you will make as much money as the average of the five people you spend the most time with.

So, if your five best friends all make minimum wage, chances are that you're going to make minimum wage, too! Do you guys buy beer and watch sports games together more often than you should? Do you never talk about how to improve your lives? Do you complain and complain but never do anything? That sounds like a loser to me...

On the other hand, if your five best friends each make over $100,000 per year, then there's a good chance that you are or are going to, pretty soon.

Why does it work like this?

Well, the thing is that we humans are a social animal and we do things in order to fit in with our peers; whether it's taking up a certain sport, hanging out at certain places, thinking about certain things, talking in a certain way or buying the same things.

So obviously, the five friends you spend the most time with are going to influence you in a huge way. Are you going to let those people encourage you to smoke, drink and watch pro sports? Or, are you going to let them encourage you to get your MBA, start a business and take a trip to Europe?

There are so many more ways in which your five closest friends influence you, but this article isn't going to be long enough!

Time to move!
Time to move!

Loser Habit #2

2. Stop living in a loser neighborhood or city.

This habit is similar to #1, but it's not as bad. If you live in a ghetto neighborhood or city, you sometimes can't change that fact very easily, but you can change the people you hang out with a lot more easily.

That said, it's still important to live in a winning neighborhood or city, if at all possible. Even if you feel like it's not easy to uproot and go somewhere else, you have to have that goal and work toward it or it'll never happen! Who cares if it takes you five years to get out? Five years in the future is better than never!

If you hang out with winning people, but you all live in a less-than-desirable place, you're better off than most. Statistically speaking, however, you're more likely to have loser friends if you live in a loser area.

The reason why living in loser surroundings causes you to be a loser is because it's what you see everyday. As a simple example, if all the cars in your neighborhood leak oil onto their parking spots and are rusted out, do you have much motivation to do better than that? You probably wouldn't want to get a nicer car than them, because they might get jealous or your car might get damaged! However, if your neighbors all have really nice cars that you can't afford... but you see them everyday, you can bet that your mind is going to start thinking of winning ways to be just like your neighbors.

Another example is the people that you interact with everyday in your neighborhood. If they're all losers, you can be sure that they're always talking about playing the lottery, pro sports and other extremely mind-numbing topics. If you live in a winning neighborhood, you can be sure that the people you see everyday will have a lot more interesting things to say; technology, business, education? Yes!

So... get out if you can. It's a lot easier than you think. Live in your car for a while or try to stay with a friend!

A loser job can kill you in more ways than one.
A loser job can kill you in more ways than one.

Loser Habit #3

3. Get out of that loser job.

You may read this and think, a job is a job... as long as it pays the bills. But really, is that all you want from your job? To pay your bills?

That said, you should be proud of yourself if you support yourself and your family with your job, no matter what job it is. No job is beneath you and no job should be laughed at. All jobs have dignity. But, what I am getting at here is that... there are some jobs you should strive to get out of (and into a better job), and there are other jobs that will allow you to grow and will naturally cause you to outgrow them. You need the latter type of job to avoid being a loser.

For example, if you are a garbage collector (sanitation engineer), you probably make decent money, have decent benefits and are set for retirement. Do you really want this type of life, however? Do you just want to work for the next 30 years and then retire and then die?! Do you want to get sick from all the garbage that you're breathing in every working hour? Do you want to hang out with other waste collectors, talking about sports and beer? Or do you strive for more?

That's why you have to get out of a loser job! If you are in the job and you need it, well, you keep it and keep working hard. Keep on trucking, while at the same time, continuously look for new opportunities; opportunities to climb the corporate ladder or transfer to a different department, opportunities for further education, opportunities to do something you can truly be proud of (believe me: don't say you want to do a job you'll enjoy/love - there is always BS to deal with, no matter how much you love what you're supposed to be doing! No job is ever 24/7 love love love).

You want to be surrounded by winning people in your job, as well. You want to work in an environment where everyone is positive about themselves and about the future. You want to hear your coworkers talking about their goals and dreams and working towards them! This will inspire you every day and you'll soon be a winner. A winning work environment doesn't necessarily mean high pay, but it is definitely filled with people who have ambition.

Let me tell you a story. I used to live in Vancouver and begging/panhandling is a common occupation there. There was one guy who panhandled near my apartment and I once had the opportunity to hear part of his story. The thing that stuck out to me was that he said he had been at that same spot for 30 years. THIRTY YEARS.

He had survived all those decades, yes. But he was still a beggar after all that time. Think about that and ask yourself if you want your future self to be the same as your today self.

Loser habit, loser clothes, loser haircut.
Loser habit, loser clothes, loser haircut.

Loser Habit #4

4. Don't dress like a loser.

This habit is a little controversial, because we have all heard the stories of the raggedy-looking man who actually has millions in the bank. Or even Steve Jobs, one of the most successful people of our time, didn't dress very well.

The thing is, these people are the exception rather than the rule. What I mean is, if you gathered 100 well-dressed people and then 100 badly-dressed people, overall, you would find a far greater percentage of well-dressed people to be successful. There's a reason for this.

Basically, humans are a visual animal and we judge each other by looks. There's no arguing this fact, even if we are truly humane and try our best not to judge a book by its cover. Psychologically speaking, we cannot help but do exactly that.

So, if you dress poorly, then you will be judged a loser in the eyes of others and if you dress well, you will be judged a winner by others. But who cares what others think? Well, it matters, because if you're talking about opportunities in life, a lot of opportunities come to you based on your appearance (and clothes play a HUGE role in your appearance). Opportunities in life doesn't only mean jobs or money, but also friendships, love... even something as simple as a smile or good service at a restaurant.

Not only that, but dressing well and being treated well is a positive-feedback loop. When people treat you well, you get more confidence and you treat others well and they treat you even more well in return. You gain confidence and you gain the feeling that you can do anything! Your life just goes up and up when you dress well.

On the other hand, if you dress poorly, people might look down on you a little. You'll feel their body language and you'll lose confidence. You'll become hesitant to speak to people, hesitant to seek opportunity... you will treat people worse and they will treat you worse in return. It will be a downward spiral and you might even get depressed.

Women wear makeup not to attract men, but to feel good about themselves (in case you didn't know).

The last thing I want to say is that you definitely don't need to spend a lot of money to dress well. Follow these steps as best you can, going from #1 to #3 (i.e. achieve #1 before you try to achieve #2, but achieve as many as you can in the order I give it):

#1 - be clean; look clean, smell good

#2 - wear well-fitting clothes (wear your clothes, don't let them wear you)

#3 - keep up to date with current trends and follow them the best you can (e.g. I know a lot of people that dress exactly as they did in high school, even though that was 15 years ago)

Loser Habit #5

5. Stop going to loser stores, restaurants, bars, etc.

This habit is pretty similar to the work one... don't do loser work and don't hang out at loser places! However, this is a lot easier to change than your work situation.

For example, if you always hang out at the neighbourhood bar and see the same depressed people drinking away their pain, is it really a place you want to be? If it's a cool bar with cool people, then by all means continue, but if it's not...

Another thing is that you shouldn't shop at loser places and that includes dollar stores! Dollar stores are even worse places to shop than Walmart (if you never shop at Walmart and you can afford not to, you are probably already a big winner!); dollar stores are actually more expensive than other stores for many things (they just sell you smaller quantities at a lower price, but in terms of cost-per-unit you pay more) and the quality of their stuff stinks. Moreover, the other shoppers in dollar stores are hardly ever people that value quality and therefore don't value the overall quality of their lives, either!

If you spend time around a certain type of person, you tend to get influenced by that type of person. That includes where you shop! Imagine you drive a 1998 Honda Civic and whenever you go to your favourite restaurant, all you see is rusted-out American cars? You'll think your ride is pretty good and will never strive for more. But what if your favourite restaurant parking lot was always filled with Lexus and Mercedes? I'm pretty sure you would be jealous and you would start finding out how you could attain the same.


Loser Habit #6

6. Stop eating loser food.

This sounds ridiculous, but it's true. If you eat loser food, your health will suffer; both physically and mentally. A winner cannot be weak in body and mind!

What is loser food? Basically, processed food is loser food. Food that is high in sugar and salt and preservatives. That is loser food. Think of canned meats, instant macaroni and cheese, frozen pizza, cheap bread, crappy salad dressing, sugary drinks, etc.

Just be observant the next time you go to your local supermarket and look at what people are buying. Not only do people's bodies differ based on what they put in their cart, but I guarantee you that their hygiene differs and the car that they drive differs! Their jobs also differ.

If you buy processed food because you can't cook, learn how to cook! Not being able to cook is also a loser habit. Pro tip: the best way to learn to cook is to follow recipes.

If you're used to sugary and salty and processed foods... you're going to have to change your ways.

The very first step would be to cut the sugary drinks out of your diet. It's hard to do it cold turkey (i.e. quit immediately), but you can do it gradually. Let's say you drink three cans of cola per day... maybe cut it down to two and spread those two cans out over three times. Do that for a few weeks until you get used to it and then reduce further...

Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol are also loser habits...

This article would be crazy-long if I explained how to eat like a winner, so unfortunately I can't. But, I think you get the idea. Please find some video cooking inspiration down below, instead!

Jamie Oliver's Healthy Breakfast

Loser Habit #7

7. Don't waste your time with loser hobbies.

Hobbies are usually time-killers. They waste your time and probably make money for somebody else. Do you really want to waste the precious time you have on this Earth? If you do, then you're not a winner! Be a winner and think of every moment of your life as precious. This doesn't mean you have to be some kind of massive go-getter and make productive use of every waking hour... but it does mean not wasting your time on loser hobbies!

First, what is a winner hobby? Well, enjoying nature is a winner hobby. You might take hikes in the forest, climb mountains, canoe, star-gaze, photograph animals, snow-shoe, ski, etc. Other types of winner hobbies are those that give you a skill beyond just knowing about the hobby itself; perhaps ballroom dancing, cooking, singing, working out, building furniture, making things, building apps, etc.

A loser hobby is one that only allows you to become more knowledgeable about the hobby itself... getting greedier and greedier for certain types of possessions or becoming competitive about how great you are with the hobby. Some good examples of loser hobbies are; collecting stuff, watching (not playing) pro sports, playing the lottery, gambling, gossiping with friends, watching TV (following soap operas, trash TV, reality TV or even the news) news), etc.

For example, let's look at two people with two very different hobbies; each hobby being just as easy as the other hobby to do.

Gordon collects Hot Wheels toy cars! He spends an hour or so each day hitting up different stores around his neighbourhood to find the toy cars that he wants. He knows when each store restocks their shelves and he tries to get there soon after restocking, so that he can find the rarest toy cars. He also spends an hour each day looking through social media (especially Instagram) to see what other Hot Wheels collectors are up to, what they have, what he can trade for, what he can sell, what he can buy. He has had this hobby for a decade and has over 6,000 cars in his collection! He often spends weekends at Hot Wheels collector conventions.

Nodrog, on the other hand, is a budding concert pianist. He's been playing the piano for around ten years and is really, really good right now. He plays beautifully and of course, it's because he practices for at least an hour each day. He also spends another hour watching videos on piano techniques and honing his own technique. He often spends weekends at concerts or even playing in concerts himself!

Think of which hobby you'd be more proud of and think of whether you're a winner or a loser!

A huge collection of toy cars is not a winning hobby.
A huge collection of toy cars is not a winning hobby.

Loser Habit #8

8. Stop hoping for a lucky break.

This is one of the most pervasive habits that losers have. They don't do anything day-to-day, they don't put time into improvement, they don't think of how to get better, they don't have goals - instead, they "wait" for their lucky break.

The type of lucky break that most of them wait for is the lottery. Yup, every loser is waiting to win the lottery! Their life will be better after winning the lottery, right? Wrong! Studies show that lottery winners are usually worse off three years after winning the lottery. Why? Because losers don't know how to handle money. They get a huge amount of money and instead of being calm and investing it... you can bet they're going on crazy vacations, buying new cars, buying lavish gifts for everyone, eating at fine dining restaurants everyday, pampering themselves, etc.

Don't tell me you haven't seen really, really old people playing the lottery? You think they just started playing? They've been playing for decades and no lucky break has ever come their way!

There are no lucky breaks in this world. You have to make yourself lucky by pursuing whatever it is that you want.

Are you waiting to win the lottery? So is everyone else.
Are you waiting to win the lottery? So is everyone else.

Loser Habit #9

9. Stop dwelling on the past.

Dwelling on the past is what losers do! Get over it and move on.

This goes for both situations; whether your past was good or whether it was bad.

Like imagine a fat old guy always saying, "I used to be really muscular, I used to get all the girls." What does that do for him now? Nothing! Are people impressed when a fat old guy is in front of you and telling you this? Obviously not. He might be old, but he doesn't have to be fat and out of shape (and he certainly doesn't have to be a loser).

On the other hand, imagine someone whose past was not that great and they keep thinking about the mistakes they've made? I'm guilty of this, but you have to be aware of what you're doing and stop destructive habits. If you chose the wrong career, there's nothing you can do about your past choice! Just start the process to get into the career you want and know that even if it'll take years; if you don't start today, it's not gonna happen.

So please, stop dwelling on the past.

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