Written by: Jonathan Stover

It’s just in my nature to want to win. So much so, I sometimes pay a higher price than I should to assure that I maintain my place at the top. But hey, that’s just what you have to do.  I mean, that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? It is in fact the reason we are “successful”, the reason athletes get paid the “big bucks”, and the very reason I am typing this email for the company I work for…….because I had the winning resume. Or is it?

Is winning at life defined in the obvious metrics we are conditioned to recognize: the score, the high salary, the smoking hot wife, the dream job, the sports car or the house in the prestigious country club? Are these things the de facto product of having won? Well, I thought so until we started playing soccer.

As you probably know, we started a recreation league indoor soccer team at work a while back. We sucked. We got our butts handed to us every game. We somehow managed to gather the broken pieces of our shattered ego’s scattered over the field after the game, glue them back together in time for practice and go at it again the next week. This cycle had repeated itself 6 times over 6 weeks.

After the seventh game I snapped. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was angry, very angry. More angry than I had remembered being in quite some time. The losing coupled with the way we lost (15 points or more per game) proved to be too much.  My blood pressure rose, I said things I shouldn’t have and ended up losing sleep over it. I woke up the next morning still angry. Over the course of the next several hours that anger turned into reflection and inspired the very words you see here. They were so impactful that I felt the need to share.

Through those hours of reflection and thought I learned a couple things about myself. For one, I was acting very selfishly in my attitude toward the outcome of the games. To me, my performance on that field was about my appearance. In retrospect, I see now that it in fact has nothing to do with me at all. My presence there was an opportunity to help my teammates. And, more importantly to be the hands and feet or Christ for all those who I come into contact with. Serving others is, and should always be, a top priority. My attitude was far from that. To sum it up, it’s just not about me. It’s about others.

Secondly, I found myself exhibiting a great disregard for self awareness and discretion. I like to use opportunities, positive or negative, as classrooms for life lessons. Here I failed to properly place those games in the hierarchy of importance. Let’s just face it; I was playing on a team with my co-workers. That in itself is more than most can say right now. Win or lose I was out there with my friends that I get to work with, working for a company I love, living in a country founded on freedom, and went home to spend time with a family that loves me more than I’ll ever know. That my friend is winning.

So, with that being said, and all of these thoughts on paper, I suggest that losing is winning. When anything can provoke thought, cause you to better yourself, or allow you to cut through the indoctrination the world has taught to see the truth that lies underneath, that’s a win in my book.

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