Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn

Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorI know that not everyone will agree with this, and that is OK….but I don’t think everyone should get a ribbon just for showing up. Whatever happened to the winners getting a trophy because they won? Now we seem to have taken the stance that everyone gets a ribbon just for showing up. Really?  Is that a realistic look at how life really is?

Do we get awards for just showing up at work? I know that is a bit of a trick question because some companies do award perfect attendance…but that is not the point here. You still have to produce. You don’t get rewarded for just showing up…at least not for long. Eventually you have to contribute to the company or they will let you go. Ask any professional athlete if they can keep a job without contributing to the team.

Having taught adults and kids, I know that egos can be fragile and nobody likes to lose. I have seen “adults” throwing tantrums on the sidelines of professional sports when they lose a game, so age is apparently not the issue. Getting older is mandatory, maturity is optional.

Whether you are an adult or a child, you have to learn to win and lose graciously. Losing is part of the game of life, just like winning is. The trick is to be gracious despite the outcome. I detest seeing people taunt their competition when they have won a game.  Lombardi gave some advice to his players that drives home my point. He was correcting some players that were showboating in the end zone.  He simply said, “Act like you’ve been there before.

Losing is one of the greatest teachers we have in life. You never fully appreciate winning until you know the pain of losing. Losing gives you the incentive to get better, to achieve new records, to conquer new territory…and losing gives you checkpoints. Losing gives you the motivation to change. If you won at everything you did, where would the challenge be? What fun would it be if you won every game and every battle you encountered? Napoleon was said to have sat down and cried at one point because there was nothing (that he knew of) left to conquer. It is the possibility of losing that makes winning sweet.

I do believe in helping shape a child’s mind and heart with tender loving care, but giving everyone a ribbon sends the wrong message. When losing, they need to be encouraged through it not rewarded for it. I have nothing against giving a team due recognition for first, second, and third place…but isn’t that enough? Do we need to have trophies and ribbons for every team that played regardless of their performance? Maybe I am looking at this from an old school perspective, or maybe I am the sane one.  LOL

We seem to live in a day and age where we are so afraid of offending people that we compromise ourselves at the slightest push. How about we stop that and just agree to teach kids and adults to endure, to have hope, to excel, and not quit? Isn’t that more powerful than a ribbon for participating? Losing does not make someone a loser. If they learn that one thing it can change them and affect all those they encounter in a positive manner for the rest of their lives.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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