Staying true to who we really are is the real win

We all want to win. We all want success. We all love a victory. We are evaluated, judged, recognized and rewarded on how we perform. Whether it is a one-off or a winning streak, we are often viewed by ourselves and others as something we are not. Think “invincible,” think “smarter,” think “prescient,” think “all knowing,” think “gifted” and so on. What a rush this is. It’s intoxicating.

It’s also not what matters most.

Nobody always wins. Nobody is always smarter. Nobody is superhuman. There is a natural rhythm to life that subjects us all to peaks, valleys and the in-between. Our quest for “wins” is laudable. How we win and understanding what is real, the context of the win, is more meaningful than any victory. For we are deeper, more complicated than any momentary success. The shine is superficial. The real win is staying true to who we really are whether we win or lose. The means matter more than the ends.

How we win, what we did to attain victory, assessing success and embracing the truth behind it are all more important than the actual result. When we inevitably fail, the same holds true. How we lost, what we did that caused failure and embracing the truth behind it matter just as much.

Most any win or loss is a result of more than just us. Yes, our actions make a difference, but there are usually other factors involved. It could be the actions of others, the synergism of the team, the poor or exceptional performance of another, luck — good or bad, serendipity or other variables that just happen so often in life. We don’t control every result with our actions, but our actions do matter.

What we put forth, the effort, the integrity, the fairness, the determination, the focus will determine how we feel about a win or a loss. Tainting either with shortcuts, lack of effort, cheating, an “ends justify the means” mentality turns the wins into actual losses and the losses are made even worse than they would otherwise be.

Stopping our personal Noise, the thoughts and feelings that can fill our head with who we really are not, begins with recognition, awareness of it. Then, it is up to each of us to return to who we really are and so respond to the challenge with all that we really are.

When we fall short, we know that we have given our all and been true to who we are. We accept the result and embrace its learnings. When we win, we know the same and again, embrace its learnings.

Then we move forward, filled with self-worth, comfortable in our own skin, better and stronger for the experience and ready for the next challenge.

When the means reflect who we really are, we are our best no matter the challenge, our learnings are enhanced and the results over time are better than they would otherwise be. This is about knowing oneself. This is life’s greatest achievement.

By playing the long game and staying true to who we are, we always end up on the plus side, no matter the momentary result.

More to come.

One thought on “Staying true to who we really are is the real win

  1. Great advice, Eric! Play long ball all the time. It is the only way to stay in the game. And you are right…nobody wins every time. But every loss should come with a lesson!!

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