I love team sports for the same reason I loved playing the cello in an orchestra. I love when people come together for a common goal. In team sports and in team music, a successfully coordinated effort brings everyone together into perceiving themselves as one unit.
Last year I followed a college football team that experienced a head coach change mid-season. The program was perceived to be a losing one, and the university changed leadership in the hopes of turning things around.
I would have loved to interview a few of the players to see if they perceived themselves as losers. I would be willing to guess that, given their consistent effort and support from teammates, they knew themselves to be winners. Having emerged from a storm, perhaps they had come to the realization that, given their trials, each success, no matter how small, was very sweet.
I have a real affinity with that idea, having experienced decades of wanting to be a winner but feeling like a loser. That is where I lived in my heart and in my head. And, once transformed, I came to realize that my personal trials were the incredibly fertile soil in which my strength, respect and self-value were cultivated. I came to understand that a perceived “loser” is a winner-in-becoming, and it’s an internal job.
You are a winner, period. Ask yourself:
- What is the value of your success in the midst of your trials? How did your understanding of success it shift after that experience?
- How did that trial serve you exactly as-is? What did you come to understand about your strength and fortitude after having experienced it?
- Given how you feel now and the insights you have come to understand, in retrospect, and based upon what you have gained, would you change those experiences?
- What do you want to share with others who may be searching for solace in the midst of trials?
Kahlil Gibran once wrote,
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
I invite you to consider that your own trials and tribulations are gifts for you to unwrap. Rather than endeavor to forget them, engage your imagination to think about how they have served you. Once you get the gifts from each of them, they will truly and softly meld within the beautiful tapestry that is your life, and enrich your self-understanding that can only catapult you forward. All the things you desire to be are already with you. The practice of shifting from loser-to-winner status brings your wishes to you.
I sit in the bleachers, cheering you on!