Are you impatient to “get there” – the next level, the next promotion, the next pay grade, the next recognition? Are you chasing something you can never quite grab?
What if winning means something completely different than you think it does? What if it’s not just about those things you are reaching for?
The Winter Olympics have just opened in Sochi. These three thousand athletes from all over the world have spent their lives preparing for this moment –all chasing the next win, the next personal best, the next Olympics.
Thanks to the wonders of television editing and the eleven hour time difference, we only see the highlights of the best of the best – either the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. And as I watch the amazing grit, skill, and athleticism I wonder, for those who don’t bring home a medal or even those who do, was it worth the sacrifice? Do they consider themselves failures if they don’t medal?
The shocking truth is that the difference between winning and not winning a medal in the Olympics can be measured in hundredths even thousandths of a second or a fractional point.
But the real difference between the winners and losers is not about who comes in first, it’s the meaning they give to their own performance.
Can they recognize the incredible achievement of having participated and knowing they gave it their personal best? Isn’t that what winning is really all about, giving something our personal best?
Jason Dorland, a Canadian Olympic Rower in the Seoul games in 1988, writes poignantly in his book Chariots and Horses of his sense of failure and shame when his highly ranked team failed to win a medal. He struggled for months and years before he could turn “loss” into a win for himself and the teams he has since coached.
So what is the “medal” you are striving for? What is the story you tell yourself about it? What will it mean if you win? Many times we make up meanings: I will be respected. I will have shown my father, mother, teacher, boss that he/she was right or wrong. I won’t have to justify my salary. I will get special treatment. My husband/wife will love me more.
We may not even know we have assigned theses meaning to winning. For a quick moment, just stop and ask yourself these two questions:
- What does “winning” mean to YOU?
- What does giving your best mean?
If you are honest with yourself, you may find that giving your best IS winning.
So as you watch the Olympics this week, celebrate all those who have given their best and that includes YOU. If you are not giving your best, then ask why not? What’s holding you back?
(There’s a lot of free! info on the YIPPEE! site if you aren’t sure what’s holding you back.)
Tell me how you were a winner this week. When were you at your best? What’s the golden ring you’re trying to get? What do you think it will mean for you when you reach it?
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Until next Tuesday. YIPPEE!