In Todays Ramble, I thought I’d get more
into how I came up with my personal quote
of ‘Keep On Keeping On… Until’

It’s something I’ve often said to coaching
clients who have often asked what I meant by
it, and how I came up with such a flippant
remark, and why it matters.

So here goes.
It all ties in with the Title of the post:
‘Coming in Last = Winner’

But first let me dispel any thoughts that it’s
got anything to do with the attitude these days
of ‘Everyone’s A Winner – Here’s a trophy for
taking part!’

That is NOT what I’m referring to at all!

And in my personal opinion, as much as we all
love to see our kids get a medal for having a
go in the school sports day, Because we don’t
want the kid at the back to feel bad about

I actually believe that is NOT a good idea.

Where and when in Real life Do we Get Rewarded
just for turning up?

You know, the life we are supposedly preparing
them for, where one day they will have to survive
on their own merits, in the hustle & bustle of a
world where we are paid to produce results, and
NO ONE gets a salary for ‘making the effort to
get out of bed, but oh it was hard cos the darker
mornings are here, and I just didn’t feel like I
could get much done today – so I took the day to
reflect on how I feel about work, paying bills,
putting food on the table, etc.

But Hey, I should still be paid cos I did try
and get to work, albeit I arrived 2 hours late,

I’m sorry if I offend anyone who thinks we should
all be ‘sensitive’ to the feelings of those who
just can’t complete a task – And should therefore
be rewarded with points for showing up and knowing
that a math problem written 2+2=5, may well be
written down showing the correct placement of
the + and =… and hence they get 50% pass rate,
EVEN THOUGH their answer is wrong!

Do I really want a surgeon who knows he’s supposed
to cut me open, but has no idea what inside he’s
supposed to remove… Pay the man for being 50%
right??… I think not!

Or a Pilot who scored 66% on his tests.

He knows how to take off, AND even knows how to
fly straight & level…
Just never mastered the landing part – But hey
– Give him a Badge, He got 66% of it right!

OK – I’m getting too worked up on that part now,
and it isn’t the content I wanted to share.
So back to HOW Coming in Last can still make
you a Winner.
(and what I really mean by
‘Keep On Keeping On…Until’)

I wont bore you with early childhood lessons,
as I’m sure my personal Mindset and Attitude
was formed throughout my life and including my

But the easier example to use is from my days
in B Coy, 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Volunteers.

(points to friends who can spot me in this pic) šŸ˜‰

 Bcoy 1Yorks

And in particular
– those Exhausting, tiring, boring, mundane
(I could go on) physical training exercises we
were all forced to go through in order to ‘pass out’
as trained soldiers.

The part where everyone suffered no matter who
or how fit you were!
(Because they designed those forced marches,
assault courses, weekend exercises, etc. to

So here’s what I learned/discovered.

When at the end ish of a grueling exercise, we
would all be struggling, feel like we couldn’t
continue, start lagging behind… I noticed a

The guys who quit got bawled at, verbally abused,
ridiculed, berated and generally felt ‘unloved’
by the Corporals and Sergeants trying to keep
pushing them to Keep Going!

If they just quit – they did not get a medal
for taking part!
They were instead driven back to camp in shame,
then ended up with potato peeling, latrine, or
some other nasty duty as punishment for giving

And here comes the part where

Of those who kept pushing themselves and did
not give up.
They either completed their objective (finished
the run, march, assault course or whatever it
They collapsed in a heap with broken bones,
exhaustion, sprained joints, dehydration or
whatever ailment prevented them from keeping on.

No One Bawled them out for not doing their best!
No One punished them or gave them extra duties!

If anything – they were just told better luck
next time, keep it going solider!

So how did this help form my Mindset?

Simple – I hate to be given extra duties, and
I didn’t much like being yelled at 3 inches
from my ears.

So I convinced myself to
‘Keep On Keeping ON… Until’ I collapsed unconscious,
as that would only result in a free ride back to
camp at worst.

Turns out I never did collapse, although I came
close one year.

My company was competing in an annual 26 mile
race up and over 3 Peaks.
(they were all just under 2500feet, so we can’t
call them mountains)

We had won it the previous year, so expectations
were high. But boy oh boy, it was grueling, and
when it came round to my turn to carry the radio
equipment (as well as our own personal kit),
I started to struggle. It got harder and harder
to pick up my feet and keep climbing the steep
mountain sides, I struggled for breath, for energy,
and to make matter worse, I could feel blisters
bursting on my feet.
BUT NO WAY was I going to let my side down and quit!

I told them I’d ‘Keep on Keeping on Until’
Either – I fully collapsed, and therefore did not
cost us points, as anyone airlifted off the mountain
was regarded as someone who at least tried, OR we
crossed that finish line!

Well half a mountain later (sorry Peak), and
after a lot of glucose tablets, water and team
encouragement, I regained my breath and blocked
out the pain, and we did finish.
(Coincidentally – we WON, and also set a new
record of 5hours 56 minutes!)

At the finish line we were greeted by one of our
officers, who promised Steak & Chips along with
free beer that evening, We were told to stay at
ease and carry on ripping our boots off, and he
approached me just at that moment to make a
comment about how he didn’t think I would have
struggled so much, being on winning the previous
year, and then he looked down, saw my feet, and
immediately had me carried to the medics tent.

Whereupon I was told that Iodine would be applied
to my feet, as there were 13 blisters on them,
and it may tickle!!!
One new tent roof later – I said yep – tickled
a lot, or words to that effect, which I was not
fined for on this occasion šŸ™‚

And yes – Of my squad, I crossed that finish
line last – But we still won.

And frankly – in terms of the respect we had for
the other teams, ALL Those who crossed that finish
line were winners and EARNED our respect!

Anyways – Fond memories aside, That is how I
developed my Mindset to ‘Keep On Keeping On…

Initially to avoid being yelled at and given extra
duties, and eventually to ensuring I did not let
myself or my team down.

I HAVE, EVER SINCE used the same Attitude and
Mindset throughout my life, and I’ve not collapsed
I have however achieved a lot more than those
who may ‘believe’ they can’t do something and
quit, rather than Keep on Keeping on… Until!

So what is Winning?

So Yes – You can finish last, and still be a
Yes – You can take 18months to complete a 12
month course – and still be a winner!
Yes – you can take 4 days to create an eCover
cos you’re broke and have to learn how by trial
and error… but if it gets done and you keep
on keeping on…until – You still Win.

It’s NOT
– I took part for a little bit but it got hard
so can I have my badge now!

It’s reaching your desired goal and not quitting
til you get there.
It’s taking action with that course you’re studying
til you complete it.
It’s many many things to a lot of different people,
whom all share the same attitude…

Whether they cross the line First or Last…
It’s having the Mindset that they are not
just taking part, But WILL FINISH!

To me it’s to
‘Keep on Keeping On…Until!’





P.S. Donā€™t forget if you want to create an internet
income of your own, product creation may be something
you need to look at, and this free training webinar
will help:

And for ALL those who took advantage of the coaching
offer at the end of that free training.
Those who ‘Keep On Keeping On …Until’
– have ALL found success!
(Strangely enough…lol)

    10 replies to "Mindset: Coming in Last = WINNER! (HOW???)"

    • Excellent Article Randy, reminds me of my days in the US Army as well. OMG, I still remember “Tank Hill” at Ft. Jackson, SC. Our barracks was dead bottom of that hill and we’d have to run up that thing every day in formation. I puked so many times I can’t remember.

    • Good post, Randy. Though your “Why” changed from avoiding extra duties to supporting your team, I’m sure that why you could endure the discomfort and overcame the discomfort of the challenges.

      As said my Those Smart Than Me, having a big enough Why helps you find the How and get it done.

      Thank your for sharing this story

    • Anne

      Second man, second row on the left.
      Kind regards


    • 2nd row 6th from left

    • RandySmith

      I wont say yet… But will post tomorrow to confirm who is right and who is not šŸ™‚


    • Meg

      Great Post. You gain great respect for other people completing the same task. This is called grit and determination and it’s a great attitude to have. I went to a weekly exercise class a few years ago based on the Insanity fitness programme (look it up!). I was in my 60s at the time (I would still be going but the instructor pulled out). In this case, I did NOT always keep on going to the very end of an exercise …. because that could end up in a heart attack BUT, I did keep on going to the class until he finished running it. Sometimes, I literally looked like a beetroot but it was some of the best fun I ever had and I certainly felt fit. I think you are in the second row from the back, 4th man from the left.

    • Hi Randy,
      Great post. And a fabulous take on mindset. In today’s world many consider that if one finishes last then one is a loser. Yet, as you said it finishing is also winning.
      I like to live my life by a saying that a dear work colleague said to me nearly 30 years ago: Do your best and leave the rest.
      This has helped me enormously to keep on keeping on even if I do at times down tools to rest a wee while. As I taught people with disabilities for many years: There is no such thing as failure. If you have tried and done your best then you have definitely not failed. You have learnt, hopefully things along the way.
      Some others say the only failure is not to have tried at all.
      I also am of the ilk that children need to be brought up in the real world. Being given a medal for turning up is not teaching children that as adults there will more than likely be set backs. It’s how you play the game that is important. If you do your best then that’s all people should expect of you. Be there for the long haul because as the childhood story I read: be the tortise rather than the hare. It was the tortise who won the race whereas the hare ran out of puff and gave up.
      Once again many thanks for such a very timely article.

    • After replies here, by email and on facebook – I can now reveal that a couple of readers did spot me, and a lot did not.. (My own kids did, thankfully)

      So without further ado

      – I’m 2nd row up – 2nd from the left šŸ™‚

      Ah the memories.

    • Hi Randy,

      I just love the sentiments you express here. There should never be a reward just for turning up. And a saying I adopted long ago in my life is….”If it is to be it is up to me”. The world in general doesn’t owe me anything. Success is never guaranteed. Achieving anything worthwhile takes effort, and persistence. And looking back at different times in my life where I’ve strived, persisted and occasionally achieved generates the most wonderful feelings of self satisfaction, pride in self, and renewed confidence. Great article, thanks for sharing!

    • Well written brother!! I have competed in many Peak Ultra Marathons, Summer and Winter Death Races and Spartan Beasts, Supers and one Ultra Beast. I know what the agony of defeat feels like because I have never finished a death race, I never got my skull because I did quit and I think about that all the time. You are right, if you don’t quit and come in last it does not matter, you still won because you never gave up…

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