This is an entry under
WINNING for India Today Conclave 2014
Winning, does it matter?You know what? It does.
We all have heard great men saying that winning is not important, important is your participation, your hard work and the job you do. For me all these adages are just rationalization, consoling our ego to live life further. It sounds demeaning and demoralizing, but this is the very reason it is the truth.Frankly speaking, one corner of our brain and a part of our heart always wants to win, no matter what.
When a person wins, whatever it is- a cookery show ( nowadays that is not a small feat, considering the fact there are multiple cook-offs) or a Nobel prize; that person, even if it is for a splitsecond, feels he has done better than his counterparts. And he deserves that feeling, no doubt about it. But you see, most winners are modest. Because it just comes to them. Modesty is a talent a winner acquires through winning- he/she cannot show that winning is their trait, and if they do, they are scared of the future- what if I am glad about this and end up losing the next thing I do! Winning makes the person humble- because there is a feeling of self-realisation and self-actualisation- the person has found his ground. People who have false pride are those who don't know what they are good at.
I am not saying the aforementioned reason is why people are modest. Modesty is a great virtue and to some people it comes naturally. For some people it is just self depreciation- they just cannot like themselves!
There is a flip side to this too. Some people who take pride in what they do, are considered snobbish. I know, this world won't let you live. It is always a catch-22. You do it, you are in for something demeaning, you don't, well then you know how it is. They will tag you as down-to-earth and then suddenly you will find yourself being called a different kind of snob- a snob who doesn't think his/her achievements are worth any accolade.
Winning, for me is when you do something without even planning to win, it is just a consequence to your action. When you take part in a competition, you do not take part in it to win a ticket, or win a seat or win a coupon or a medal, but just because you like the theme, you like what it wants from you and you feel it is your forte, then winning THAT competition is true success. You write or you sing because you want to, not because it will give you a chance to go somewhere or meet somebody or make a show piece in your house, but because it is a chance to outdo yourself, to find a stable ground to do more, to do better.
Winning is when you actually feel you had tough competition, when you feel that you went through a lot to get what you have achieved, when complacency doesn't even run through your imagination.
I firmly do not believe the 'in it to win it' notion. For me, you go in it because of the love of it, and if that love is strong enough, winning is the effect to your cause.
But when you do not win, what do you do?
That is actually the question. When you win there are these certain level of emotion everyone goes through, but what happens when we don't. First we do not want to accept it, this lasts for a second for some people and for some people it is the prolonged emotion. Second, the first feeling is not shown by everybody. Third, we blame external factors, then come to internal factors.
Even this, is not a generalised notion. The question remains- how do you deal with it?
The answer lies in your definition of winning. If you did it for the love of it, all the above mentioned levels of sadness become null and void. Exactly why you should do things not for the sake of doing and succeeding, but when you think you are one of the best to do it.
Vincent Van Gogh got it right, and encapsulates exactly what I feel winning is:
"It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”