On Winning


Deep Thought, Flight Plan, physics / Saturday, June 25th, 2011

There’s a certain duality to life. Apart from the usual quantum mechanical duality ie. Or maybe it’s because of the quantum mechanical duality. Take winning for example.

Winning is important, not because of what you win – but because of who you become in the process of winning. What makes an Olympic winner stand out, or a Grand Slam winner stand out – is the transformation they’ve managed in themselves, starting from wherever they were – discovering what it took, such that they became winners. The winning was in fact a was a consequence of the fact that they became winners, not vice-versa.

Which is all well and good, you say. Where’s the duality you mentioned?

Well, the fact that you win after you become a winner is one aspect of it. The second aspect of it is that it’s almost impossible to win when all you are obsessed with is winning. Let me rephrase that, when I say obsessed – I mean attached. When all one wants is the victory, and when nothing else matters – the victory is often the the hardest to come by. However, when one is detached from the victory – but working at being excellent, the winning – now or later follows.

Just as it follows from being a winner – finding out what it takes to be a winner.

And with the detachment from the result, and the focus on finding what it takes for me to be a winner. The result can be inconsequential. But on the knife edge of commitment, lies the balance where winning is after all – the whole point of it. Because without the game of winning and losing, how would I find out what it takes to be one, and know when I’ve succeeded.

And still be able to treat those two imposters the same.

Of course – this is not just true about winning, it’s about everything. Finding out what it takes to be a husband, or a wife, or a parent or coach or a CEO.

As Epictetus put it best ‘If you would be a writer, write.’

That’s why I am here, to write.

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