Stop Trying to Win

In the modern world, we have an obsessive focus on winning.

Winning in sports, business, politics. Winning in life in general. The term seems to mean overcoming the odds in some way, or besting others who want the same prize as you.

Having done my fair share of winning, I’ve come to realize that no ‘win’ is ever permanent.

Despite the temporary halo effect being a winner can create, winning is often a fickle friend. It creates an addictive, unsustainable state that we all crave once we’ve had it.

Worse than that, winning is an illusory wall. Once someone is labeled as a winner, it immediately hides the years of effort, the unique context, and the randomness that led to them winning. Instead of objectively exploring why someone wins, we either celebrate it or we complain about it.

What I’ve come to understand is that the opposite of winning is not actually losing. The opposite of winning is growing. Growing hurts more than winning, that’s why we fear it, and often avoid it.

Learning only comes from the losing.
When you win, you lose the learning.

Learning to love losing is the fastest strategy I know to getting better, to setting up the conditions and context you need to win. This counter-intuitive approach seems to be the secret to success we all know, but continually avoid.

People say that they fear failure, or they fear losing. I have come to understand that it’s the pain of growing that they fear.

Growth is the source of life, the source of enjoyment and freedom. It is where we become who we truly are, and show ourselves to the world.

The irony is that by avoiding the growth, we start to lose our feeling of being alive.

When we covet a win, we fool ourselves into seeking an empty prize. The win has no value beyond a momentary sense of relief. The true joy is in the climb, the lessons, the sense of momentum that starts to build as we learn day by day.

Winning is a false horizon. The true value is in the journey, and the growth that happens on the way.

Stop trying to win, just keep trying to grow.


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