The trouble with being a good sport, is that you have to lose to prove it.

The trouble with being a good sport, is that you have to lose to prove it.

When was the last time you were a good sport?

Were you playing a game and lost?

Or applying for an opportunity and lost?

Running for a position and lost?

It is easy to opine on the virtues of being a good sport, and it is an entirely different experience finding yourself in such a position, and acting in accord.

When you are in that moment of knowing that you lost, there is a rush of emotion that can overwhelm you with feelings not in balance with the way you see the world. In that moment, time expands, and you are in a doldrum of knowing you could have done better or you should have done better, or you deserved to do better… but for whatever the reason, it did not work out for you as you had hoped….

So now what?

Do you suck it up, congratulate the victor and move on? Do you pretend it is alright, but secretly harbor negative feelings with expectation that perhaps one day you will settle the score? Do you protest vehemently and decry the outcome as invalid and demand to be vindicated? Or do you fall victim to your own shallow sense of self, deny the results and wage a coup to take over the entity that has just announced your loss?

The purpose of competition is to enable the best of the best to presumably rise above all others. Since the origins of the cultural tribal competitions that escalated those to the top of the pecking order, the ability for humans to compete and prevail, has been a cornerstone in the human evolutionary experience.

We celebrate the greatest in our society through competition, awards, medals and financial rewards. As a global society, we are myopic on these competitions and enable them to become a significant portion of our culture. Our past time is spent watching athletes compete, as well as actors, musicians and creative people generating diversions for our daily escape from our day in/day out rituals.

When we see someone who has given their all, and is one step shy of the top position, lose the prize, but maintain their composure and integrity in the heat of the moment, we brand them a “good sport.” Does this mean that they are not feeing the sting of having lost? Most probably not. But, we witness a person who has grace, self control and dignity, recognize that this competition has just ended and not in their favor. If they have self confidence and poise, they accept this as the truth, and they move forward with their lives…. Many times with the expectation that they will compete again and win the next time.

I believe this comes down to proper parenting. If you are wise, you will enable your children to compete in competitions where they are just as likely to lose as win. In that loss, they will learn the grace and mindset that losing is just a small chapter on the road to great success. Without that parenting, your child may grow up to become the world’s biggest loser and who knows where that could potentially leave them at the end of their journey?

Happy Sunday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!