Winning? Really?

Whether you want to or not, you’re probably painfully aware of the recent goings-on in the life of Charlie Sheen. This post isn’t so much specifically about him, but something you’ve probably noticed as his theme if you have seen, heard or read excerpts of his recent media interviews. Below is a video I found which is a compilation of many of these interviews.

Over the past year, I have become acquainted with an individual who makes Charlie Sheen look like Justin Bieber. That being said, there are numerous similarities that have caught my attention.

Sadly, drugs are the common fuel to their manic behavior. This fixation they have with winning is what has really captured my intrigue. I have seen the individual in my personal life being hell bent on ruining the lives of people they once loved. If he put his energy and time into a focused effort to be successful in his own life, he’d be a world changer. However, his lust for “winning” has only made his own life more complicated. But he still considers himself a “winner” because his behavior has made the lives of others more miserable.

I have often compared life to the game of golf. In golf, you don’t play defense. You have no control over the performance of your competitors. Your sole nemesis is the course, itself. If you find yourself paying too much attention with what others are doing, you can’t possibly concentrate on your own performance against the course, making it impossible to do your very best.

Life, like golf, is challenging and complicated. We all have our hands full just navigating our own way through it. People like Sheen and this other individual define “winning” in an unhealthy and destructive way. They see people who don’t share their views as enemies. Winning isn’t simply living a meaningful life and providing for their families. To them, winning can involve burning their own lives into a smoldering heap…as long as the lives of their perceived enemies are also wrecked.


What I have found in these individuals is they do not have a simple quality that I bet you and I share. You and I find the value and necessity to have something in our lives that is bigger than ourselves. You and I exercise this by helping others, providing for family, serving in church, volunteering and contributing to charitable organizations, etc.

These others are narcissistic. They lack the element that values anything other than their own interests.

Sadly, I have no answers in turning these people around aside from prayer. You can’t talk to them. You can’t reason with them. You can’t compel them with emotional pleas. They hit rock bottom, but their egos won’t allow them to acknowledge the train wreck their lives are. Instead, they aggressively pursue taking others down.

I choose to live according to the principles of Philippians 2:3-4.

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.