The Winner Effect : The Science of Success and How to Use It by Ian Robertson

Are you on a winning streak or losing streak ?

The winner effect

To start with , author asks a questions ” Are you born to succeed ?”  In Professional sports, people pay huge premium on “bred” factors, like height / gender/ race. If that is true, then why so many people born with advantages gene, fall by the side ? So it should go deeper than that.

The motivational part of the brain is called Putamen, it fire up when we through our intelligence being tested, NOT when we doing something for money. The more driven our ambition are, the greater level of activity fire up in the brain. The drive is from inside, not trigger only by external incentives.

Few things we do is intrinsically motivate at first, most children, have to be externally indued to get thru the early stage until the activity become rewarding itself. some people need external induced to get thru early stage until the activity become rewarding itself.

Keep motivated, means enjoying the intrinsic satisfaction of mastering day to day challenge. If you only focus on a distant, enormous goal, you will devalue your small everyday achievement and make them seems worthless. People who achieve the most tend to set demanding but attainable target.

Many parents have achieved success or go through life challenge by knowing that he has climbed up a difficult ladder, with many steps, same is luck, perseverance, skill , application. But some will hide the the ladder, seek to be admired by their greatness and hide the true picture of thousand small step up a shaky ladder.

“Master orientated” children say things to themselves that could actually help them solve the problem, Same as successful student is learning focused, not performance focused. The goal come form challenge of mastering difficult problem they faced. We must aware the EGO will block and slower your temporal frontal memory encoding response , meaning we didn’t learn much from the feedback.

So Is winning a matter of chance and circumstance? Research of testosterone on traders, when we are adventurous and combative, we got higher profit, bigger bonus. Testosterone boost man has a higher sex drive and make him a genius by changing his brain chemistry. Hormone shape behavior, behavior change hormone level. The real effect of winner effect does not rely on constant maintain of higher testosterone, but physically changed the brain in terms of context on the mental landscape, belief, emotion, feelings.

An interesting finding that in a fight, red color shirt has a higher chance of winning. For man, making a fist is associated with threat and dominance of physical rivalry. No matter what i feel inside, if i behave as if i feel the way i want to feel, the feel will likely to follow. when are per-justice, we are under a self-fulfilling prophecies, the glass ceiling of the brain constitute on powerful blockage on winning.

Become a winner can depend on how to response to Power. In management, there is term called “mum effect”, kid (employee) try to keep the mom )boss ) unknown when

1. Power distance index, people get punished by inform bad news to senior

2. You didn’t get reward for doing things to prevent what Didn’t Happen

More power you have, more testosterone into blood, inflate your power to win more in future. Power make us egocentric, blinding us to value others POV, it increase our sense of control, even illusory , significantly change their outlook on life. It also increase the optimism and self-esteem. Testosterone boost level of dopamine, in getting clear in our mind what we want and go get it. Winning change how we feel and think by racking up testosterone and brain system for action-oriented approach. Power focus attention less likely to be put off by distractions, Power put attention blinker on us. In our brain we have left and right prefrontal cortex, the right PFC act act our cautious accountant.,to spot out what can goes wrong. The chemical noraderaline, linked to vigilance, monitoring, response to threat. It widen our focus of attention, people without power tend to scan the horizon of threat. our left PFC do the opposite, it focus attention on goal. An interesting scientific study show that, for people who have high power need, when they win, stress goes lower, if they lose, stress goes higher. In opposite to people who need low power, when they win, stress goes up, and when they experience loss, stress go down. Power make us smarter, more ambitious, aggressive and focused. These qualities sharpen when we win, and boost our chance to win in future. Power empower us the positive feedback loop, a virtuous cycle of power induced brain make us more a winner in future.

Human mind is motivated by reduce incompatibility between what if think/feel and how it behave. If it detect such inconsistency, it often rationalize by change through/feeling to be consistent with the behavior.  When we are in stress, our brain disrupted by cortisol, especially the memory center and frontal lubes ( our part of the brain which in charged of self-awareness, inhibition). Meeting someone “higher status “, it show extra activity in the area that we “plan what to say”, “listen to yourself” and stop yourself saying what inappropriate. Toxic elements of low status – loss of control. An interesting finding in animal kingdom is low tanking baboons manage to have control on sex life by making platonic friendship with dominate baboon;s mate. Belief that you have control, is like anti-ode to stress, with sense of internal control, our body pump less cortisol into blood stream. One of the biggest human stress is social-evaluation threat, feeling of shame is a belief that people will judge who you are, judge you being inadequate from others. A sense of social rejection, feeling of being look down and rejected by other persist over time, can impact our health. When you do something shameful , you want to hide, that’s submission. When we are yielding to a more dominant animal , it imply that you are withdrawing and disengaging. In evolution, these signal can help to survive from not competing with our competitor. Fear can be conditioned, things that link to it can become “conditioned stimuli”. By contorting the dopamine level , our juice of reward, it tell us what to learn and do more and what to unlearn and do less.

High reward turn winning into losing, the more you want to win, the more likely you were to lost. A certain amount of dopamine, it motivates you and give you glow of well-being, follow reward and recognition. It also shape you mentally to put a glint in your eye with a bigger appetite for risk. When our mind prime with power, it intend to go for a rule-based moral judgement, however when it come to “yourself”, power prime mind intend to weaken the rule and go for the out-come based approach.

Conformity is a huge factor in our behavior may do and tolerate anything if their senior advocate/conclude it. However we also have to make choice between personal power and the society power, do you win yourself or we win as a group.

The winning mind : Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is a part that work as a conflict detector. In our brain we have cognitive dissonance, we have a strong need to keep our untruly brain, strong drive to maintain consistency to persevere our ego.

What make a real winner is enjoy benefit of power, drive, smartness, creativity, goal focus, enjoy influencing people by dispensing resources that others want. The thrive to have impact and not believing their success due to “inherited, unchangeable quantities.” Winner in certain extent made by the circumstance/environments, we all can be winner by rising to the challenges and get better if we are in position of power and positive influence. in <GRIT>, author also have a similar concept that your character will put you in certain situation and that situation will feed and build your character even stronger !


Until next time !

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