Winning and Losing

You should always try to get on top.  It’s the bottom that’s crowded.  So it was said by some very knowledgeable person not so very long ago.

I have a fundamental problem with the fact that so many people in life think that it is okay to try.  They say things like, ‘it’s not whether you win or lose.  It’s how you play the game.’  I have news for all these people.  I have never yet seen a winner give back their win and say what was most important was how I played the game.

When a person gives their all to something and commits their passion to making it come to pass through hard work, blood, sweat and tears we have no right to deny them their victory by negating our own contribution to the competition.  We need to be able to say, acknowledge and accept that we were also trying to win.  We were also giving it our all and this other person was just better than us.  They won.  We lost.  Better luck next time.

Instead, sadly what we are finding is an attitude of accepting mediocrity.  We start to deny how hard we worked and still didn’t make it.  We blame the other person and circumstances and everything rather than just accepting the pain of losing.  Until we can rejoice in the fight and the struggle to give and to be our best and until we can accept that yes, there are some people who are better than some others; maybe not at everything but definitely at some things; until we can stop trying to hold back people who want to stand out and until we can proudly embrace our weaknesses, we can never be honest about our strengths and as a result we stunt our own success.  If you constantly have to protect your back and defend your position, then you cannot jump and so you cannot fly.

If there is one thing this world needs, it is more people who believe in the value of honest competition and the willingness to engage in the struggle than causes the competitor to strive to be better and to grow through that struggle.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados.  For more of her writing visit



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