So this video went viral this week, causing all kinds of arguments and throwing up some really heated discussions. If you haven’t already, just watch the video before you proceed.
Well this is quite a touchy subject, for many, as they disagree with the video and the message that it’s trying to send out.
If you didn’t win, did you lose?
and really, it’s so subjective that there isn’t really an answer, but here’s my stance on the topic.
And obviously you’re also entitled to your opinion, so I won’t call you right or wrong!
To lose: a verb in the english language meaning ‘the failure to win’.
If you lose, you are therefore a loser. The associated noun.
So if we’re talking techincal details, if you didn’t win.
And you are therefore a loser.
Now in modern society the word ‘loser’ is more commonly associated with a derogitory term. Used by bullies and other intimitidating personalities to talk people down. It’s thrown around as an insult, a harsh term.
And thus, the word loser is something people don’t want to be associated with. Nobody wants to be known as a loser.
Now I believe that what the Louisvilles basketball coach is trying to get at, is that if you won’t be associated with the term loser, how are you going to improve? As he quotes ‘you gotta have a will’. Everybody thinks they deserve things without work, without sacrifice, without dedication. People don’t and shouldn’t be rewarded for finishing last, or only turning up, merely taking part.
Life can be tough, really hard, that’s no secret and won’t come as a great shock to many people. But tough times don’t last, tough people do.
And yes, I hate cliches as much as the next person. But more I spend time with high class athletes, influential business men & women, the more I begin to believe them. To realise there’s actually so much truth involved.
Local primary schools are currently trying to promote the idea of a growth mindset; that hard work gets results. And if you’re not there yet, you will be if you try hard enough.
If you take the example of an olympic podium. Most athletes are absolutely ecstatic with a silver medal, as they rightly should be. For many, it will be the pinnacle of their lives. Everything they have strived towards, all their hopes and dreams, coming true. There’s a reason there is so much emotion on an olympic podium.
Although for 80% of these bronze & silver medallists, it’ll last weeks, possibly months, before it just becomes fuel for the fire to attain the gold medal, four long years later.
Every day, pushing them further and further on. To do more than they thought posisble, exceeding the boundaries and reaching new limits. Because they didn’t win last time, they aren’t quite winners yet.
But are they losers?
In many sports, including my own, you can complete a whole season and not feel the need to race a single person. Sure, there will be lots of people in your race. But if you’re constantly striving for that personal best, them extra few miles, that constant self improvement. A few seconds off the park run, an extra 30 metres in your hour swim test.
So if you hit a PB every time, but cross the line last, are you a loser?
And I know what you’re thinking, no, don’t be stupid, of course they’re not losers.
No, the olympic silver medallist is not a loser. No, the person that finishes last at the park run is also not a loser. And the slowest swimmer included. They’re not losers, they’ve pushed themselves to the limit, and consequently they’re that little bit better.
And it’s the taking part that counts right?
If only that was the case.
Unfortunately, life isn’t that easy.
If me and you go for a job interview, and you get the job. I’ve lost. There is no second place. I don’t get paid, I’m still unemployed and I’m out of money.
I’m a loser. I don’t get a medal for taking part, I don’t get a certificate. I have to try again, and again, and again. Until I win.
I might have to rethink my CV, change the way I dress, improve my first impressions, gain more experience. There are many things that might have to be worked at.
But slowly, we start to become like the park runner, like the athlete, needing to improve, striving for the best out of ourselves. Everybody starts from the bottom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reach the top.
Slowly, we can transform from being a loser, to being a winner.
Realistically, in any scenario there is only one winner. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, they can be great, but there’s still that bit of room for improvement.
So that leaves us with a middle ground in which, we are still losers. And until we win, we are all losers.
But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. If you’re happy losing, and happy settling where you are. Take home the medal for taking part, wear it with pride.
Although you won’t have pushed yourself, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.
So accept the fact that you’re a loser. But embrace it with a smile on your face. A smile because you know that that’s not the end, you’re not going to be forever a loser. And it could take time. People work for years before it pays off.
But believe in yourself.
Because it will pay off.
And losers, become winners.
“Rise and rise again. Like the Pheonix from the ashes. Until lambs have become lions”