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The 13-year-old boy watched as his silver-haired opponent rounded Go, collected $200, and immediately spent it on another house for one of his properties. Playing Monopoly wasnt much fun tonight; Grandpa kept winning.

There was very little money on the table in front of the old man; almost all of it had been invested in properties, houses or hotels. And he had a lot of them. But how could he pay up if he landed on one of his grandsons hotels? Where would he find the money if he drew a dreaded pay real estate tax card? Grandpa played dangerously like this all the time. But why?

In contrast, the boy had a lot of money on the table, but he had been slow, as usual, in developing his monopolies. He wanted to hang on to his cash in case he landed on one of his opponents hotels. And land he did. He paid and paid, and Grandpa simply used the money to purchase more houses and hotels, causing the boy to pay even more.

At last, Grandpa rolled the dice and landed on one of the boys expensive properties. Now the fun would begin, and the boys conservative approach would soon be vindicated! But Grandpa just mortgaged a few of his undeveloped properties and moved on. The boy got his money, but Grandpa was unfazed.

The boy lost his first game and then the second. Part way through the third game, he realized that something had to change. Without explanation, he began investing all of his available cash in houses and hotels. Soon he had so many developed properties that Grandpa couldnt miss them.

The cash went back and forth: First Grandpa collected, then the boy, then Grandpa and then the boy. They were equal opponents for the first time that night, each fighting to win.

Yes, the boy finally won that third game. And both were surprised at the speed with which the balance of power had changed.

Later, the boy approached the older man, looked him in the eye, and said, Grandpa, I learned a lesson tonight: You have to take risks to win.

And that is the way it is in both business and in life. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but you will not win consistently if you are unwilling to take risks.

Winners strive single-mindedly to succeed. They take calculated risks where they can. They have faith in themselves and strongly believe in what they are doing.

But a winners life is not necessarily easy; winners give up some comforts to achieve their goals. Taking risks sometimes leads to failure, but the contrast is what makes eventual success more meaningful.

Winners are smarter after each experience, and they do better the next time. They observe those around them who win more often than they lose. Winners learn lessons which arent taught in school.

William James, American philosopher and psychologist, said it well: It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.

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