Friday, August 17, 2012

To Be A Successful Winner In The Olympics, Do You Need To Win The Gold?

The Olympics are over but the memories of the recent competition and the results are still in the media and in our thoughts.  The front headlines detail the gold medal winners, while the silver and bronze winners get a little coverage.  Clearly, the competition at the games are inspirational giving examples of focus, sacrifice and dedication.  Yet, there is always the perception that if someone didn't win, they somehow wasted their time and are unsuccessful.  This attitude carries over into other sports, competitions and business deals we participate in, even going all the way down to grade school.  There can even be a feeling of great pity for the non-winners, which causes people and parents to make everyone a winner.  This is especially true in school where there is a movement to make everyone a winner.

While everyone likes to feel good and feel like a winner, they lose out an important life skill - how to accept disappointment.  The more we create winners, the less we are able to handle any defeat that comes into our lives.  The ability to learn from our losses propels us to make choices that lead us to doing things we value and feel good about.  The chance to participate and learn is the real success. 

Even if someone "wins" the gold, where are they in 10 years?  Most people may not even recognize them or the accomplishment.  Knowing how to find things we love to do that challenge us will help us long after a "win." I recently read of ex gold medal winners who are taking up hobbies like painting and sculpture.  They find the creative outlet challenging and invigorating.  They truly are winners because they have reinvented themselves and their passion by taking on a new learning experience.

True winners hear the cheer in the personal goals they set for themselves without looking for society's stamp of approval.  Sometimes you may need help finding your winning path, ask a friend, spouse or even a coach to get you there, but take the time to know how to make yourself a winner.

Stay healthy & well,

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