The desire to win is something engrained in the human nature that pushes forward, aids growth, learning, advancement and is a supporting beam of motivation, innovation, searching, finding… but while the desire to win is so very central and useful in a human life, it is ontologically very different from winning itself, from getting what you want or think you want. By a statistical margin of innumerable variables you cannot and will not always win and it has nothing to do with the amount of effort, but with the reality that there will at times be those who are just better. Learning to lose is just as important as learning to win, but what if losing was your reward and winning brought about a curse within it. When you win you lose more things than when you’ve lost. What are the things you lose when you win?
Winning for the most part bring accolades within any community it concerns. When it happens you’ll be exhilarated, you’ll feel joy in the social proof of congratulations and reverences… but as the initial high wares of, the excitement fades, once you’ve tasted the win it wills soon stop feeling like a dream come true and your emotions will shift into protecting mode because now you know how the win feels something is lost from the sublime dignity of trying and you’re just terrified that not winning next time will hurt that much more for having experienced the win – the higher you are the harder the fall. And the same mechanisms that allowed you to cultivate the skill, mindset and various other complexities which allowed you to win will get overclouded by fear of losing your position. Fear is the great killer of creativity, going on a safari and shooting all it sees with its cold rifle. The win starts destroying the person you’ve become in order to win and you’ll start playing it safe, neatly, in the box where your trophy stands. Sure you might win a few more times by repeating the pattern but it will never feel like the first one, it will feel like a relief of managing to protect your status for a bit more.
So is there a right way to take the win? Well yes. Take it as a temporary acknowledgement of your efforts and share it with all who made it happen, it is not just you on that stand, you did not do this alone. Avoid the cockiness of considering yourself the best – you may very well be the best, but this is only for now. Accept the award humbly as a confirmation that you’re on the right path and not as a signal of reaching your final destination. Celebrate that day but never forget that tomorrow will be a completely new day and that someone somewhere is already working on being better while you rest. Continue working as you are still not there, as nothing was yet reached, as you are still hungry as the first day you started. Ask yourself why you are doing this, and if the answer is only the trophy in your hand quit then and there and find something else – you’ve reached your limit here. The trophies are a story of past effort, a story of who you used to be and they have nothing to do with who you are or are going to be, if you don’t understand this they’ll haunt you. Don’t let winning take away the fire which made you win in the first place. Nothing is eternal, you have nothing to protect, hide or clutch in your hand. It will fluidly move on – with or without you. Pain is good, still not having it is good, leaving a mark is good it will make you humble in the knowledge that winning is just a point of view, and that all trophies are just one more thing to be dusted. When you start patting taking yourself to seriously or getting lazy, scared or arrogant at the top, acknowledge the win and carry on as if it wasn’t there with the words: “I’m not done yet. I’ve got more in me!”