Monday, December 22, 2008

Winning & Losing vs Victory & Defeat

I'm finally contributing something of some relative value to the blog. As with many of us we have lives (of sorts) outside of the military. SFC Burke is a high school English teacher, SGT Risner is a musician, etc. While I was still a TPU (Weekend Warrior), and in college I coached youth soccer for the American Youth Soccer Organization. My miltary training and civilian experience meshed well together for that activity. I also got a Volunteer Service Medal for it.
During this time, I also studied coaching and other sports in college as well as continuing practice in Martial Arts that began in 3rd grade. All of this has contributed to my views on the concepts of winning & losing as opposed to victory & defeat. Many people put winning ahead of everything, even their ethics. Winning becomes an all-consuming goal without regard to others (or even self). Some view not winning as a complete and utter failure, not only of the task, but a personal, internal failure of the self. Here is my take on it. It's just my opinion, with which you are free to disagree (about which I won't care, since you're probably just dumb).
Winning, losing, victory and defeat are separate yet related and, in some cases, can occur simultaneously or are mutually exclusive in a manner that some may find surprising. For example you can be defeated and win at the same time or you can achieve victory and lose along with it. Victory excludes defeat and losing excludes winning. Here is why I think so. If you try your best at everything you do, whether it's a sport, your work efforts and ethics, and do your best to do these things above board and honestly, you will always win. You may not always achieve victory, but you will never lose even in the face of defeat. I used to tell parents of the kids I coached that I could guarantee that we would win every game - even if we were a little behind in the score when time ran out. If winning (or victory) becomes such an obsession that it blinds you to ethics and compassion, you will be victorious, but will still lose. Everytime. When you cheat to achieve victory, you lose. Everytime. If you live, work and play fair, you win whether or not you are defeated. In short, winning and losing is all in how you play, work and live. Everytime. Victory and defeat is a mere result - for example, the scoreboard. Many professionals (in athletics, business and even the occasional military member) look at the bottom line of career advancement, money and fame, which can not replace ethics and integrity. You'll never see a price tag on them, no half-off sales on doing the right thing. Even if you keep the underhanded things in the dark, the person in the mirror will always know. Keeping these ideas in mind can help you to not stress over defeat and not obsess over victory. You can guarantee yourself a check in the win column. Everytime.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/22/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

1SG Martinez said...

Great job SFC Quebec. I agree whole heartedly. Thanks for your insight.

1sg Keith said...

SFC Quebec, I agree. Completely. I used to teach my Little Leaguers the same thing. If you play hard and do your best, it doesn't matter if you win or lose. I was 1 and 23 the first two years I coached, and the kids wanted to come back to my team. Granted, winning is a lot more fun than losing, but that wasn't the point. We played the best team one season and we lost, 3-2. I was ecstatic! We played them hard and kept them on their toes the whole game.
I'd like to quote you if you don't mind.