Win or lose is not universal! “In war, you win or lose, live or die – and the difference is just an eyelash.” (Douglas MacArthur) “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” (Vince Lombardi) How do you measure success or failure?
Life may be played like a game, but not everything is a win or loss. Many people measure success in dollars and cents, but there are other ways to measure success. How do you measure parenting, friendship, love, relationships, happiness, or talent? I know there are tests, assessments or other methods to measure some things, but not everything. If you cannot measure it, does it exist? Of course it does and you can even recognize it.
In school and elsewhere, we measure popularity. Generally, it is by votes counted, but not always. Prom King or Queen is a popularity contest and you could say someone won. Did the losers really fail or just didn’t win. Often, we talk about the winners such as promotions, job offers, or rewards or honors. If you did not win are you a loser? Of course not, but it feels a lot better to win than lose. I think it is why we do not look at these accomplishments as winning or losing.
Almost everything we do is competition because not everyone will get a promotion, a better job, or a wonderful life. After all, there are only so many handsome men or beautiful women, great homes to live in or great jobs. If I would have realized that I could not have it all, I probably would not have tried so hard.. I can blame genetics for this thinking! My mother did not know she could not succeed, but went for it anyway. The funny thing is she succeeded!
Was it the power of positive thinking or just hard work? I think she just worked hard and was very determined to succeed. It helped she had some skills, but the odds were against her. She started a business in 1929, when women entrepreneurs were nominal at best. She could not speak English and invested very little money. To say the odds were against her is an understatement, but she beat the odds. We celebrate her success and never mention it as a win.
Most choices never reach that level, instead we measure it based on better or worse choices. I cannot work for Google, but I can work for an average company with better than average pay or benefits. A good or better choice, but not a win! We all cannot work for Google or Apple anyway. Life is a series of good or better choices which never rise to the level of win. It goes back to setting reasonable goals. I could have set a goal of going to Harvard and failed or find the right school for me.
We just had an election that determined winners and losers! It was a popularity contest of sorts, but very few people actually voted. Most of us will never win or lose on a regular basis unless you play professional sports or professional politician. I know I do not have the skills for either profession so I am part of the majority. We make choices all the time ranging from what we may have for dinner to where we go to school. In either case, we do the best we can based on what we are willing to spend or our performance.
Win or lose is a measurement for games! We learn many skills from games, both board and sports games. I used to play a lot of games when I was young. I learned how to handle winning and losing gracefully. Did it help me make better decisions? I know I learned skills and strategies for success from all these games. Playing cards or board games teach you how to make better decisions or choices. Team or individual sports help teach some of the same skills.
Winning and losing occurs in games and sports. Most of working lives, we work hard, overcome obstacles and succeed. Some people would call that a win! It is very similar to sports, but normally we just call it success. Success looks different for many people, it can be a win in a game or just doing a good job. For some, it may be doing something for someone else. I work in a profession (teaching) where I am constantly doing something for my students. If they succeed, they did the work necessary to succeed. The are many charities, nonprofits and churches that do good. It is not measured by win or lose, but improving society. How do you measure success or failure? Win or lose, how do you measure success?
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