Close to the Top

Close to the TopI grow weary of the constant push to win. In this country, perhaps in the world today, there is too much concentration on winning. It invades sports, hobbies, business meetings, politics, tv stars, and just about every aspect of our lives. Television shows with youngsters competing to be a top chef. House shows were the goal is to kick everyone else out and by default becoming the winner.

There is nothing wrong with friendly competition, but the focus is always on the winner. Is it not possible to simply play and enjoy? Understand, I am not a fan of the ‘everyone is a winner’ approach either. It degrades the positive aspects of doing one’s best. If everyone is going to win at the outset there is little incentive to really try. But we do not need to place the winner on a pedestal either. Moreover, when we put the winner in that lofty position we place a target on them. We automatically create the next individual who embraces the goal of knocking them down, competition at its worst. The goal shifts from the game or skill or achievement, and becomes more about personal vendettas.

Is it not possible to admire the winner while keeping their achievement in perspective? They won that day, at that time. On another day they might not have won, and someday they will lose. Why is it we find it so difficult to enjoy the competition itself, to acknowledge that it was an exciting battle between well matched individuals or groups and leave it at that? Why do we kick the second or third place individuals, when they must be good to have gotten where they were?

Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” It is not about winning. It is about doing your best and being good with that. Enter the race, or don’t. But if you race, race hard. Winning isn’t an absolute. Someone may run faster than you. In fact, someone will run faster if not today, tomorrow. They may have longer legs or some other condition that favors the contest. The goal should be to run and do your best. Beat yourself. It is not necessary to beat anyone else. It would be nice if we all could acknowledge the winner, as well as acknowledging everyone else who entered the competition and got even close to the top.

About Sifu Keith Mosher

My new book, "Astro Boy, Sensei, and Me" is available now, as is my Sci-Fi joy ride, "On a Sphere's Edge". I have a Bachelor of Media Arts degree from USC. I have been an Audio Producer / Engineer, a Law Office Manager, and I am currently an Author and a Martial Arts Instructor.
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