"Win as if you were used to it;
lose as if you enjoyed it for a change."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Winning, I have discovered, is an emotionally charged word. Does your winning mean that someone else has to lose? If you do not win, have you failed? Do you consider yourself a winner, or a loser? Do you have a choice in the matter?
In England, schools are taking out competitive sports so that children do not have to deal with losing. This could be short-sighted.
In this video, Dan Snow talks about the value he experienced in twice being a member of the losing team in the prestigious Oxford and Cambridge boat race.
How you experience an event, and what you learn from participating in it, is much greater than winning or losing. Why? Because whether you "won" or "lost" in the eyes of the world, what you learn stays with you forever, and can go towards a greater outcome in the longer term. Thomas Edison "lost" 1,000 attempts at light bulb before he arrived at his winning solution.
"I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play."
Winning with spirit counts. Engaging your heart and your passion, your love to contribute; exercising your capacity for fulfilment; extending yourself beyond previous limiting beliefs about yourself, possibly self-imposed; breaking through a comfort zone.
Winning may awaken a spirit of generosity and gratitude. You have only to watch a theater, TV or movie award ceremony to hear a winner's appreciation being expressed to others who contributed to the success. Any book that is published generally has a page of acknowledgments to those who read, edited, criticized and gave their support and time to the end product. A winning result has brought people together through the focus on a common objective.
Whether your "team" is with your partner, your family, colleagues at work or an enterprise in your community, what is it you would like to win now?
Here are some suggestions for becoming a winner in your team:
1. Choose your intention or objective. What would you like to achieve, personally and as a team? How could you effect some changes or improvements at home; an innovation at work or in your community? How would you like to experience going towards your outcome? You might wish to better your financial situation; move to a new house more suited to your needs now; clean up a recreational area.
2. Agree the actions that each individual will take towards the shared commitment. Discuss the roles you wish to play in fulfilling the objective. Let each one choose for themselves how they wish to participate. Let each team member decide what they really enjoy. Envisage each one as a winner in their contribution. See the value each has to share.
3. Communicate. Talk openly and listen unconditionally with each other about the issues raised that are important to you. Take time to acknowledge and appreciate each other for actions taken, and qualities expressed. Look for the good in one another, more than you seek to find fault. If you need to give negative feedback, be caring in the process. Seek to serve.
4. Celebrate. Each step towards success, reward and praise each other.
5. Have fun. When things do not turn out as expected, look for the funny side and have a good laugh before you get going again. Make the process enjoyable. Pleasure will give you all more energy.
6. Complete. When you have achieved your result, take some time to evaluate what you gained, learned and appreciated about the experience. Forgive yourself, and anyone else, for those times things went wrong. What skills, strengths or qualities did you discover or develop in yourself on the way to your win? Have a party. Give yourselves a gift. Completing will help to close the door on one enterprise, and enable you to open to another, with fresh courage, inspiration and enthusiasm.
The incorrigible human spirit will pick itself up one more time after it has fallen down. Watch a baby learning to walk. The toddler does not dwell on the last stumble. He or she just keeps going until walking is mastered. Steps along the way are applauded and celebrated.
"Winning is about heart, not just legs. It's got to be in the right place."
Winning counts when each participant has received, when there has been a greater connection in the heart, when love has been expressed and experienced; when you are enriched, regardless of the intended outcome, when you have learned something of value to you, when you have served one or more others.
What have been your most memorable wins? Who do you consider to be an exceptional winner? When does winning count for you? I would love to hear from you.
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