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What defines our success, is it the journey or the outcome?

Thoughts on winning, because as they say, practice makes perfect.

Rhonda Gillrie Arts & Culture

Success is something that many strive for. Winning too, but to what extent do we cheat ourselves to win?

Is it a win if a student in Grade 12 takes a Grade 6 quiz only to receive a good score? We often compete against others in athletic and artistic competitions. Most of these competitions have some sort of levelling done to give the participants an even playing field. If we enter ourselves in a lesser level and “win” are we truly winning? Is the moment of glory in receiving the top prize the real point? Or is the real win in challenging ourselves to do our best?

I challenge you to look at the opportunity to participate, not only as a learning experience, but also as one of growing. In life, we win some we lose some. Perhaps it is in the losing that we are truly our very best in the win. How do we react to a loss? Are we able to continue with a greater sense of purpose after a loss or do we want to quit? Why do we choose to participate in the event in the first place?

If our choice to participate is to learn and grow, partake in the experience of taking on the challenge, then perhaps having the complete truth of our placing is in fact how we are best to learn. It is through our authentic or artistic pursuit in doing our best that we find the best in ourselves and discover how far we are prepared to push ourselves and just how much we can do. Practice breeds excellence in any craft. The more we hone our skills the better we become, the better we become the more competitive we become. It all takes time, and we all must take the time to practice honing our skills and in becoming the best we can be. The race then become between ourselves only, against who we were yesterday to who we are today. Cutting corners by misplacing ourselves causes us to lose out in a big way.

The pursuit of excellence in anything is never time wasted. No matter if it is a physical emotional or cognitive challenge, the act of taking on that challenge is important. You may pursue your dreams and goals alone or in a group. You may discover things about yourself that you may not like. You may discover things about yourself that you love. The pursuit of bettering yourself is exactly that, making you better.

Perhaps the practice and trusting ourselves to win and lose with grace and poise, without giving up is the biggest win of all.

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