Tip: avoid having a three goal lead in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup playoff and losing in overtime like the Maple Leafs did (CBC Sports, May 13, 2013).
At the highest levels of competition, the differences between winner and loser are often miniscule. Look at the Olympics.
Sometimes the pros cheat to get ahead since incentives affect behavior. The honest competitors get tainted too (though maybe they are complicit by not reporting how abuses could take place). Honesty isn't often black and white but a gradient: minor decisions like “borrowing” a paper clip from work can lead to falsified expense reports.
The EmotionsWatching competitions is emotional. The thrill of victory and the despair of defeat. It’s easy to get engrossed. Do you realize how much time you’re spending watching, discussing and thinking about a game?
Fans get caught up in the competition but do the players wear gear with the names of fans written on the back? Unlikely. The attention doesn’t flow both ways.
Another WayJeffrey Gitomer asks how much money you make watching TV. He could also ask how much you earn watching sports (let's ignore gambling).
We have limited time and attention. Both are irreplaceable. Invest some in yourself. You then become the winner and have your own fans who give you referrals. Aren't you worth the bet?
You get results when you focus on what Stephen Covey calls your Circle Of Influence --- stuff you can do stuff about. Sports and other competitions may be in your Circle Of Concern but do you affect the outcome?
Stand ApartWe're defined by what we refuse to do ---- especially when others can’t resist the temptation. Spending less time as a passive observer (a couch potato) will not hurt you.
When you focus on what makes a difference, you learn. You get closer to results and further ahead of your competitors. You get ahead fairly. You become the winner while others remain watchers.