Monday, 19 August 2013

Loser despite winning every time.

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to loose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat and go onto win again, you are going to be a champion someday.
-Wilma Rudolph

Winners are not who wins every time but who knows the importance of losing also. Donald Trump said “Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away and move on to something that’s more productive.” One cannot work all the time: 24X7. One needs to take rest. One has a limited resource. One must have the faculty to distinguish between important or unimportant, worthy or worthless. It is wisdom to reserve one’s resources for meaningful purpose and surrender against meaningless goals. 

I heard a story about a man who was going with his son to a market to sell a donkey. On the way, they met a person who asked “Why walk when you have a donkey to ride?" The man let his son to sit on the donkey. Soon they met another person who said "How shameful of you! Let your father ride, won't he be tired?" So, the boy got down and the man rode the donkey. Again they marched on. "Poor boy", said the next passerby they met, "why should the lazy father ride while his son is walking?" So, the boy got onto the donkey too. As they went on, they met some travelers who commented "How cruel of them! They are up to kill the poor donkey." Hearing this, the man and the son got down. Now they decided to carry the donkey on their shoulders. As they did so, the travelers broke into laughter. The laughter frightened the donkey. It broke free and galloped away. Don’t try to win every argument or situation. You cannot satisfy everyone’s need. You cannot please everyone.

We think that getting what we want brings us happiness; winning brings happiness. We all know the story of the greedy king named Midas. He had a lot of gold and the more he had the more he wanted. One day he was visited by an angel and asked to make a wish. The king was delighted and said, "I would like everything I touch to turn to gold." The angel said "Starting tomorrow morning with the sun rays you will get the golden touch." The king thought he must be dreaming, this couldn't be true. But the next day when he woke up, he touched the bed, his clothes, and everything turned to gold. He looked out of the window and saw his daughter playing in the garden. He decided to give her a surprise and thought she would be happy. But before he went to the garden he decided to read a book. The moment he touched it, it turned into gold and he couldn't read it. Then he sat to have breakfast and the moment he touched the fruit and the glass of water, they turned to gold. He was getting hungry but he couldn’t eat. Just about that time his daughter came running and he hugged her and she turned into a gold statue. There were no more smiles left. The king bowed his head and started crying. Despite winning his wish, his life became miserable and he had to live a life of a loser.

Winning is an event while winner is a spirit. By merely winning, one cannot become a winner. Winning an event may be chance but having a winner spirit could not be chance; it is something that one earns. Almost we all have heard the story of tortoise and rabbit who once raced and tortoise won and declared winner. The story goes like this. There lived a rabbit who ridiculed a slow-moving tortoise and it was decided to have a race between them. The rabbit soon left the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, took a nap midway through the course. The tortoise got tired but he kept going. When the rabbit awoke, however, he found that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, had arrived before him and won the race. It was a chance victory. Under normal circumstance, a rabbit could never be defeated by a tortoise. Despite the fact, tortoise was a winner. How come so? Tortoise was a winner not because he won the race but because he had winner spirit. This fact is mostly neglected and gives rise to a mind state which is self-defeating. This problem is correctly raised by Joshua Waitzkin in his statement: “Very gifted people, they win and they win and they are told that they win because they are a winner. That seems like positive thing to tell children, but ultimately what that means is when they lose, it must make them a loser.”

Olympics is a lifetime event. It was the year 1988 and the event was Seoul Olympics Finn Class race. Lawrence Lemieux was in second position with a medal almost certain but he stopped racing to help fellow competitors who were in trouble. After rescuing them, he resumed the race and finished in 22nd place out of 32 boats in the race. Even though he did not win the race, he was a winner. He was honored by kings and queens all over the world because he kept the winner spirit alive. He was also awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship. The medal has been given to only 12 athletes till date.

Winners do not play for winning but for self-integrity. Reuben Gonzales was in the final match of the racquetball tournament. This was an important event and he was playing for the world title. In the final game at match point, Gonzales played a super shot to save point. The referee and the linesman both confirmed that the shot was good and he was declared the winner. But Gonzales, after a little pause and hesitation, turned back to shake his opponent's hand and said, "The shot was faulty." As a result, he lost the serve and eventually, lost the match. Everyone was stunned. Who could imagine that a player with everything officially in his favor, with winning in his pocket, would disqualify himself and lose. When asked why he did it, Gonzales replied, "It was the only thing to do in order to maintain my integrity." He lost the match, yet he was a winner.

Winner does not work for credit but for the work done. Colonel Edward M. House wielded an enormous influence in national and international affairs while Woodrow Wilson occupied the White House. Wilson leaned upon Colonel House for secret counsel and advice more than he did upon even members of his own cabinet. What method did the Colonel use in influencing the President? Fortunately, we know, for House himself revealed it to Arthur D. Howden Smith, and Smith quoted House in an article in The Saturday Evening Post. " 'After I got to know the President,' House said, 'I learned the best way to convert him to an idea was to plant it in his mind casually, but so as to interest him in it - so as to get him thinking about it on his own account. The first time this worked it was an accident. I had been visiting him at the White House and urged a policy on him which he appeared to disapprove. But several days later, at the dinner table, I was amazed to hear him trot out my suggestion as his own.' "Did House interrupt him and say, "That's not your idea. That's mine?” Oh, no. Not House. He was too adroit for that. He didn't care about credit. He wanted results. So he let Wilson continue to feel that the idea was his. House did even more than that. He gave Wilson public credit for these ideas.

Endeavor only for winning is attachment, freedom lies in sacrifice of transitory winning over deterministic winning.


  1. Good post Ravish.

  2. You have highlighted a very crucial point, Indians always take losing harshly, pressuring their children if they even lose with one mark..sigh...the mindset they have set...The story of the donkey is definitely an eye opener..we simply cannot please everybody ..overall a post well written :)

    1. Thanks Najm for liking my post. I've touched the topic of pressuring children in my post: Success- What does it mean? Hope you'll like it too :)

  3. very true i agree with you completely