When a win is really a loss… a story of sport and life

I think many of you who are reading will be able to relate whether you played sports or have merely watched as a fan.

Have you ever played miserably or even just below your capability…

But we’re able to eek out a win or overcome your opponent?

And did you find yourself excited to get the victory and too celebrate another win?

You know who didn’t share this enthusiasm?

Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Tom Brady, Roger Federer…

Or any peak athlete or performer in their given craft.

Sports is just the context for my example, so hear me out…

Have you ever seen Jordan or Lebron win a game, but the camera pans over them on the bench and they look pissed and their ranting to their teammates?

Any guesses why?

They aren’t focused on outcomes. There are too many variables to control…

They are focused on their process.

And that night, they weren’t boxing out the rebound, they missed a switch on defense, they didn’t focus on their breath on their free throws…

And without attention to these details, their process..

They ensure future outcomes will not be as fortunate.

They won’t reach the peak of their objective.

So they strive to execute every opportunity…

And they seek to find opportunities to improve their process in defeat and in victory.

Do I write this with the intention that you will play a professional sport?

No! Of course not…

But how can you apply this process to your craft?

Have you celebrated a PR in the gym but your technique was sloppy.

Has a business project met expectations, but you lacked the communication and leadership you are capable of?

Have you celebrated a marriage anniversary milestone only to realize you haven’t effectively communicated, provided the intimacy, nor given your present self to your spouse?

On paper…

These were deemed successes as the stakeholders are evaluating outcomes.

But with that same process in the future…

And without addressing the weaknesses exposed…

You shouldn’t expect the same outcome.

By all means I’m not suggesting we don’t enjoy life and celebrate…

But i am challenging us to seek truth and be honest as we evaluate ourselves?

Did we do our best?

Did we optimize the variables we could control?

Could we be better?

Is a “win” or good outcome shadowing an opportunity to grow?

I know I am asking these questions and challenging you do the same.

Never settling…

Not being complacent…

Sure worked for Jordan.

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