What is winning and do there have to be winners and losers? When you treat each scenario as an opportunity to learn and get better then the answer is no.
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When is the last time you felt elated about winning something? Yesterday I wrote about my under 17 cricket team and how they bravely defeated a much more fancied opposition. One of the players messaged me today and asked me if I was still pumped about the win we had. I said I was still very exhilarated. I think back on it now and start to question how the opposition must be feeling? To them it would be total devastation. Yet there can only be one winner?
Our society and ego encourages winning and even winning at all costs. We grow up with this idea of success and failure, how one makes you feel good and the other makes you feel bad.
Does it have to be this way?
What if we treated each scenario as an opportunity to learn and get better? What if we praised the opposition or the situation for bringing out the best in us?
If you adopt the above approach to the situations you face, then your emotions won’t get all twisted up in knots when you are not first. You will be able to put the experience into perspective and continue to grow until you will eventually be first. It now becomes a journey of achievements rather than a ride on roller coaster with many ups and downs. The journey will have set backs and sometimes the going may be very tough indeed, but your mindset is prepared to withstand these in the knowledge that you are growing with each experience.
Unfortunately for many people the reaction to a set back or a loss can be quite a traumatic experience. It could put a dent in their growth and make them give up all together.
How do you react to a loss? Are you a John McEnroe type who spits the dummy and commences to shout obscenities at the referee when things don’t go your way. Or are you a Federer style of player who shows no emotion what so ever until the game is finished. Whatever your approach to winning and losing it comes with a price.
As a sportsman and avid cricketer I remember vividly coming runners up in three grand finals. Instead of appreciating the fact that as a team we had achieved something quite remarkable we in fact imploded and kept grieving about the loss.
We seemed to make the same mistakes even though we were favored to win each time. We dropped catches. The only reason we dropped the catches was because we put too much pressure on ourselves to win the grand finals. Our focus was not on what we need to do to win each grand final. More catching practice and learning to relax under pressure would have definitely been a worthwhile focus for us.
Unfortunately at the time we kept relieving those dropped catches so much so that we dropped more on subsequent grand finals. To this day I have flash backs of those dropped catches. It haunts me. This makes it very difficult to keep the right focus and instill the confidence in others so it doesn’t happen again.
What is winning?
We live in a very competitive environment. Most people believe that for somebody to win somebody has to lose. It generally goes back to your previous programming. This is very similar to people having abundance and people having lack in their lives. If you believe that there is abundance for everybody then there doesn’t have to be a winner and a loser or for that matter any competition at all. It is only when you are competing for the shortage of resources that you get caught up in competition and fear of there isn’t enough for everybody to have everything they want.
Dr Wayne Dyer in his book on change your thoughts and change your life suggests that if we adopt an abundance mentality then there will be enough for everybody to have everything they need. He goes on to say that we should view our journey on this earth as a way to continually become better. The battles along the way help us to grow. This allows us to respect our opposition and helps us to see each scenario as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than to win or lose.
What would happen if we instilled this way of thinking in our children? It certainly would take away the fear of failure that can build in their psyche.
Risk taking and solving problems creatively would be the norm. You see when you know you can only learn to do something better next time the gloves are off. You virtually take off the blinkers and see all of the possibilities. There is no longer any need to play it safe. Risky becomes the new safe. It just does not pay to not explore all of the avenues to learn as much as you possibly can about getting the job done.
So how can you begin to do this?
One possibility is to read Dr. Wayne Dyer The other possibilities are to begin to learn how you think and to become aware of your thoughts.
Do you stop and even realize what you are thinking about?
- Are your thoughts negative or positive?
- Do you take winning on the chin and move on?
- Are you devastated by losing?
- What do you do after the situation?
- Do you look for ways to become better at what you do?
- What did you learn throughout the experience itself?
When you begin reflecting on this level all of a sudden you come to the realization that it is not the end of the world. What you have learnt will hold you in good stead for next time. This attitude and approach to all of the situations you will encounter from here on end begin the process of changing your thoughts.