#2 = Failure?

The Northwestern University Woman’s Lacrosse team recently finished second in the national championship. This broke a string of 5 straight national championships. Is this a team of losers? They may think so since they have filed a protest regarding the officiating. This was not pro sports. Why complain?

There are some areas, mostly sports where winner take all seems to be the case. People often say that no one remembers who finished second in any of the major championships. My Blackhawks just won the Stanley Cup. By next year will anyone remember that they beat the Philadelphia Flyers? Gosh, I hope so.

And I hope the Flyers feel great about the extraordinary playoff run they had. until the goal that won it for the Hawks in overtime of the sixth game, no one was writing off the Flyers.

More importantly, other than pro sports what should we think of the person or team that finishes second. O.K. In my line of work I bid for new work. There are often 5 – 10 competitors for each bid. Recently I finished second two weeks in a row. To different competitors for different reasons –in one case it sounded as if they flipped a coin. I get no monetary value from being #2. And yet, I beat out 9 competitors in one case and 3 in the other. Good people from good companies. Not too shabby. If these were the last two pieces of work in the world, I would have been a loser. But they aren’t. I will compete again and win more than my fair share.

How bad can it be to be the second smartest person in the world or the second richest or the second funniest? And what about all the others who finish behind #2? Fortunately this is a big world and a large life allowing the opportunity for  success for many people, in many forms and on many levels. Fortunately literally billions of people in this world are successful without being the best, just by being very good.

I am not sure if it is a U.S. thing or a Western culture thing but I am tired of only having celebrations for one. I am tired, not of the competition to be the best because I find that competition breeds “better” in many, but of the scoring that is done to determine #1. Top grossing movie of the week (not best movie which is what we should be applauding), top salesperson (regardless of how many of his/her own colleagues  were elbowed out-of-the-way), or winner of the Scripps Spelling Bee (O.K. Maybe I let that one go).

I would rather celebrate many people doing good things and continually improving. I am going to adopt this approach today in all facets of my life starting at home.

Congratulations to Northwestern’s Woman’s Lacrosse team for an excellent year this year to add to the five previous ones. Well done.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

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