“Success is Not in the Winning”

We’ve all seen the people whose lives are driven by a distorted desire to “win” in everything; you see them exerting far too much effort to always be first in the check-out lane at the grocery store, first to the exit on the interstate, first to the empty parking space, first to greet the boss when he passes through the office, etc.  A distorted view of winning can cause a person to harm the otherwise potentially good relationships in his or her life, as well skip over quality decisions and necessary paths in life to get ‘what they want’ or ‘where they want to be’ too quickly. 

Wisdom and a Winning Attitude

I truly enjoy coming across someone who approaches life with more wisdom than is usually seen among his peers or in the general population. That is part of the reason I appreciate so much following the career of pro tennis player, Rafael Nadal. Not typically a sports fan, I began following his career after a friend wanted to watch Wimbledon at our home the first year that Rafa and Roger Federer played in the finals. I was extremely impressed with the respect they demonstrated toward each other and the dignity they brought to the sport.   

I happened upon some quotes regarding a video presented at a gala for Rafa’s charity foundation; they explain a little more clearly the source of Rafa’s winning attitude, for those of you who are unfamiliar with his career: 

  • Then it all turned into silence as the following words appeared on the screen; ‘Dedication, sportsmanship, hard work, will, humility, sacrifice, and discipline”. True success doesn’t come from winning. That was the message Rafa wanted to send.
  • From an early age, Rafa has been taught the art of appreciation, hard work, and humility. His coach and family have always reminded him that being good at playing tennis doesn’t make him a hero. “No, that is a term reserved for those who risk their lives in order to save others.”
  •  Behind each and every one of his biggest victories there has been a philosophical approach. The day he won his first Grand Slam (Roland Garros), instead of letting his new found fame and tennis status get to his head, he followed his coach (and uncle) Toni Nadal’s advice to practice first thing in the morning to go over everything he had done wrong and needed to improve. 
  • Success comes from your values. They have helped him overcome his most difficult adversities and have played a key role in building a legendary career. (1)

The Best Success Results from Wise Values

 Well said. Success does result from an exceptional value system. How would you evaluate the “energy” behind your own desire to win?  Healthy relationships, stable achievements, and the attaining of crucial life goals will result when your ‘winning attitude’ stems from a value system founded in “dedication, hard work, will, humility, sacrifice, discipline.” And, next time you run into the unpleasant co-worker who is stressed out from a distorted view of winning, allow yourself to smile, knowing you will enjoy better relationships and more quality life decisions because your winning attitude is derived from indisputable values.

 (1) http://www.rafaelnadal.com/content/video-rafa-nadal-foundation-gala [page was removed when Rafa’s site was revamped.]


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