Life is not Zero-Sum

one way road sign and empty staircase
Photo by David Guerrero on

“A situation in which whatever is gained by one side is lost by the other.”

This is the definition of zero-sum. One side must lose when the other side wins. Someone must be better.

We have all experienced this feeling /mentality in life. Whether it comes as jealousy of another’s success or comparison to another on social media that leads to feelings of inadequacy.

But what if life is not a zero-sum game?

What if all the moms encouraged each other and saw their efforts as enough and great?

What if co-workers rooted for each other to get promotions?

What if we looked at our own strengths and capabilities, and only measured ourselves based on those?

What if winning at life does not mean someone else has to lose?

When encouragement and positivity drive your life, you no longer see life as a competition.

Instead of trying to tip the scale in your favor, you strive to balance the scale.

You want to see others succeed. You assume others are trying their best. You realize there is more than one way to “win.”

Kevin shared a quote with me this morning I had never heard:

“Rising tides lift all boats.”

Lives of encouragement and positivity lift everyone.

Be the rising tide of encouragement that lifts all the boats around you.





  1. The ‘rising tide’ line is a famous quote by ronald reagan which he used to justify trickle down economics. It was the beginning of the income inequality that is the largest it has been in 2019 since the gilded age of robber barons.


    • Reagan ripped it off from John F Kennedy who had a speech writer that was not the origin either. Even if it was applied to multiple scenarios, successful, or unsuccessful, the message still resonates at it’s core.


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