When I was younger I remember watching the TV show ( Wide World of Sports) with my dad. My favorite part was when the show started. They would show some sports team that just won some championship, jumping around giving everyone high fives, or some pig pile in the goal / end zone, just a happy moment in their sporting careers. The thrill of victory! Then they showed some down hill skier crashing, a car crash, then the most horrific skier crash. The type of skiers that they pictured ,were the ones that try to fly down the mountain, by flying the farthest after coming down a real steep jump. This guy crashed before he got to the jumps end, then kind of flew like a sack of potatoes, showing him hit the ground in a heap, then following him as he slid down the hill for seems like hundreds of feet before stopping motionless. This was the agony of defeat!
Success defiantly has its own language to it. Yes we teach all sorts of thing in school, but when it comes to success it is always assumed this must only equate to having money. Having it or not shouldn’t be the tell of having success or not, or should it? But the language of success is kind of like having a small voice in your own head that tells you this will lead you to a place that’s all yours. Sweet success on a personal level. No one will needs to be told, do this in order to get there. Nor will anyone need to force anyone else to get going towards success. It is the self motivating voices we all hear in our heads that lead us down that path that says it’s all worth it in the end. Is that the language of success?
When my daughter was playing fast pitch softball, we went to the games, all the time. Loved to watch them play. After all they were playing for the world series of fast pitch softball to be held in the mid west some where. I forget where it was now. Guess that happens to you, when you get past the age of 20. But the point was they tried their hearts out to improve their play at the game. They played with injuries, being short a player, new positions ( Even positions they may not have liked to begin with ). They had to play and travel to different towns from week to week and put up with being tiered, and yet they played for the goal of the series.
Getting to the field early for the games one day. We were all glad to see, a delay in this mornings game to be played. At times they had a layover between games for some hours. Waiting for others in the area to play-out their games before our games would start. So I use to watch other kids games. At times I would ask ” Hay what is the score?”
“Oh we don’t keep score!” The answer would come back to me.
“What? What kind of game is that?” I asked! My surprised look was a dead give away of some stranger in town. At times they just looked at me shaking their heads. This happened more than once to me for some reason.
” We think it is better for the kids this way! They don’t have to feel bad about being on a team that sucks. They all get a participation award this way as well. It is all better than good, for the kids!” This mom explained to me. She looked like she was in pig heaven. That glow on her face that came with a parent that was deceiving themself’s, by making their life easier at the expense of their kids experiences and education in life. You know that kind of look? Right? I don’t know it either! Maybe a better way to say ” it is just the plain look of lazy! ”
“Don’t you think that your kids are lacking some good life experiences and a graduates degree from the college of hard knocks?” I asked. The look on their faces gave me the answer without them having to say anything more. Okay so I wasn’t to cool at this point with the parents. I was calling them out, kind of. I could have told them they are just lazy parents! Who are refusing to teach useful life lessens to the next generation, all at the expense of their future success, by teaching them how team play works or at least how sports-man-ship really works. But the looks that I got from them told a different story. I should have just said. ” Hi! I’m the grim reaper and it’s time!” Death looked more exciting. Their looks could have killed!
Just what do parents think they are doing with this kind of play? Don’t they know we all compleat in life with each other? So it is natural to learn from our defeats! You know the ones that we all suffer. So how should we ever get to a goal that we set for ourself’s? Are we just looking for a participation award? Sports teaches important lessens, that we are in life together, by working together we can accomplish great feats. There is no “I” in team!! If we as people just do-away with loosing, what is accomplishment then? Are we trying to minimise the victories with this kind of attitudes? What do we have to help build strong self-esteem in our kids? Don’t they realize that self-esteem comes from ones self? So we need to teach young kids to become tuff adults with strong sence of self, ( Having a lot of self-esteem). The agony of defeat teaches us the most important things about life. Despite a loss it teaches us we can decide to stay down or get up! Thus we will become better if we learn to apply these values in our youth, rather than waiting till we are adults. What kind of self-esteem has the attitude ” Hay I showed up where is my reward?” What has this attitude given us over the last few years?
Thomas Edison was once asked. ” What drove him to the point in overcoming failure in trying to make the lightbulb, having tried to make it 1000 times?”
Thomas Edison was reported to have just glared at the questioner for a moment. Then answered. ” From the very first try when I saw a flash of light, I was successful! It took 1000 times to make, and remake it, in order to have the kind of improvements to it that I liked. A longer lasting light! Just where is the failure?”
If Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, all subscribed only to the philosophy of a participation award would we have the advances in our lives as we do today? Would Bill Gates have just worked as hard as he did in his parents garage to make the first Microsoft products? Should he have just entered the garage and asked “Where is the finished products?” So he could put his name to them, as the participation trophy? “What do you mean there isn’t one? I showed up didn’t I! So where is it?” He could have said.
Some of the greatest victories have happened to teams that kept on trying even after it looked as if they were going to lose. What drove them to keep on trying then? These victories are the things we all remember long after these teams are past their prime, or even long after when all the team members have retire. Yet these victories are remembered as having done the impossible. They are admired, remembered, and looked up to, as well as totally inspiring to the next generation of sportsman as if to say ” They were able to do it, so give no excuses, and you to are able to do all things!”
Steve Jobs needed some kind of new glass for the I-phone that was his idea in his head. A product that didn’t exist as of yet, it was just a dream to him. He had requirements that was said be impossible to make. He went to the CEO of corning a world leader in glass products. He laid out his needs. But was told it is impossible and it couldn’t be done! Steve Jobs said something like ” We are leaders of our industries. Used to doing the impossible! To then dream, the impossible, in challenging ourself’s in making it reality! Isn’t this what it is to lead your industries? I need your help for this glass. But failure is not an option for me! I will make this phone, and if I need too, I will make the glass as well. It would be easer with your expertise and help. Dare yourself to dream along with me! Proving the impossible to be possible! Lets make dreams come true.” Well the rest is history. Steve Jobs keep score with his own goals. He may have been the most competitive person in the his own mind. Challenging himself only in becoming better. Accepting a participation trophy was not an option nor was it his motto in life.
We all should have a need to teach our kids to be gracious in winning. Teaching these values, is a parents job that needs to be done, along with the ideas of being charitable with our successes as being the ultimate victory in life. Not teaching our kids on how to handle these things, or even what to do with the agony of defeat, will cause them to look for the exits of life. Drugs, alcohol, poor relationships, depression, low self-esteem, bad attitudes, bad work ethics, unreasonable expectations, and a un-natural sense of placing wrong values in control of their lives, just to name a few. These are the participation trophy’s that without knowing the score in the game of life. That also gives us no sence of knowledge or encouragement, as when or where to make any efforts in changing the outcome.
With no accounting like keeping score. We will never having the ability to be able to gauge ourself’s, or the positions we find ourself’s in from one moment in life to the next. We will breeze through life never knowing just when to apply extra efforts, go the extra mile, or even realize the time to apply a sense of urgency in making the extra efforts. Without efforts we can not succeed. Nor will we recognize success if we were able to stumble into it!
I would go so far to say, ” without the keeping of some kind of score, all for the purpose of determining a winner and a loser, only destroys the inner will to encourage ourself’s in trying harder, for any accomplishment, known or unknown.”
“There is no guarantee in life other than one who chooses to do nothing. For that person there is no greater fact, that their outcome in life has been then guaranteed for certain!”
“In short no one should be so willingly, only being physically present, and yet psychologically absent!” For this is the only trophy received for just living life for the so-called “participation award!”
This next video shows just how uncertain life experiences can be. But more important is the fact of never giving up, that comes through as the greatest point to be made. Just how much efforts would any of the players have made in this game if they didn’t keep score in it?
Why should we even play the super bowl anyway? Shouldn’t these two teams just get a participation trophy? Isn’t the looser of the super bowl going to feel like they just suck? If any one still believes that just showing up in life, is all you need to do in order to get a participation trophy. In order to save some embarrassment or removing the chance of loosing. You must first then realize saving some embarrassment, also removes all chance of victory, therefore all chance of success has also been removed as well! You desperately need to take a long hard look in the mirror. Then decide, if your living the thrill of victory or experiencing the self-imposed agony of defeat!
All the best!