Yin and Yang and that Other Thang (Part Two)

Life Doesn’t Hand Out Participation Ribbons

The battle is what brings us to part two of finding Yin and Yang and that Other Thang: life is a lot more fun when you’re winning.

As hard as it is to accept, Charlie Sheen’s rants about winning hold legitimacy if you consider them from a certain perspective, one far less fueled by drugs and alcohol, of course. Simply put, it’s easier to remain positive when you’re achieving success and reaching your goals, and if you’re an athlete at any level, you’ll agree that the game is more enjoyable when you come out on top.

Yet some of life’s greatest lessons are taught through our failures.

That said, being bluntly told we have failed and that our effort isn’t good enough is less common than it once was. Everybody is congratulated for trying their best and we all receive participation ribbons so that nobody feels left out.

However, the notion that there are no losers, that everybody finishes in first place, is foreign to me. Some students don’t get held back a year despite underperforming and having a failing grade; they receive a pass and get moved ahead anyway. True or not, I struggle with the idea of being given a free ride but remaining ignorant to the fare – there’s nothing learned, and typically, that’s not how life works.

It’s the experiences that force you to face the reality of losing, being told your work is sub-par, or getting held back and passed over that teach you the most. Being shown your wrongdoings highlights the areas needing improvement, and if you’re keen, improving is exactly what you’ll do to prevent yourself from failing a second time.  

To learn how to win, first you must learn how to lose.

Winning doesn’t happen overnight either. It requires sacrifice, hard work, and an intrinsic motivation that doesn’t waiver when the struggle is real and shit hits the fan – it comes with the aforementioned blood, sweat, and tears and the unpleasant sensation of failure.

Use that bitter taste of defeat as incentive to improve your worth, increase your skillset, and to become the best version of yourself. Consider your past shortcomings as knowledge to draw upon in the future and don’t back down from fear. Put your nose to the grind and dedicate yourself to self-development each day. Set yourself up for winning and take advantages of the opportunities around you.   

Life isn’t going to hand you a participation ribbon, you must earn one and take it for yourself!

The Davis Daily

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