The rhetorical question is a technique many writers use to make valuable points. Have you ever wanted to show an opponent that you were valuable? This is probably true for many of us, especially after a loss. Losing can have a negative effect on the psyche if not processed properly. The competitive spirit is common in American life. Competition lives in the home, the office, the school, and on the playing field. The raw numbers can define or demean. What was your SAT score? How did you rank on the GRE’s, LSAT or MCAT? What is your FICO score? America is indeed a competitive society. After answering these questions mentally, how do you feel about your performance? Are you prepared to answer these questions aloud? Never fear. Success is the best revenge and preparation is the surest road to success.
With all the competitive talk, little attention is given to preparation. Society has become instant. Gratification is needed now at the expense of experiencing the process. The thought of getting the degree circumvents the process involved in learning. We focus on the final product, the degree, instead of enjoying each class! The sluggish economy has given the world increased awareness of the processes of life. Most of us miss the beauty of the process. Processes and life cycles require management, just as all other resources. Preparation is the greatest tool for any type of competition.
Winning now and deferred wins are a part of the life cycle. In my world, losses are deferred to as deferred wins. Today’s loss can get us closer to tomorrow’s win. The usage of the term ‘loser’ has systematically damaged the self esteem of many people. It has caused many to give up and never try again. Losing has little to do with talent or ability and much to do with the level of preparation of the player. Sometimes our mind is not prepared for a win. Mental preparedness is a deeper challenge than just winning the prize. The goals of my lectures are: to explore mental preparation, sharpen academic or physical ability and discipline, and to developthe winning attitude.
Have you ever wanted to show an opponent that you were valuable? We usually feel this way after a loss. Losing can have a negative effect on the psyche if not processed properly. We have heard of sore losers in the past, but now we see arrogant winners! (For example, I do not follow sports, but feel terribly about how the NBA fans are posting pictures of the losers in dresses!) I hope you are laughing. Obviously, both teams have to be talented to get to the finals. The fans of the winners are not being gracious and kind. Channel your anger or frustration in the direction of accomplishing goals. Living well is the best revenge.
Think back to a time that you lost a competition. The prize may have been a government contract for your small business, a promotion lost to your rival in the office, or a scholarship sought by 1000 applicants. What was the deciding factor for the awarding of the prize? As a teen-ager, I competed in beauty pageants and talent shows in the South. Beauty pageants may sound hokey, but they are very competitive. The competition does not stop with the contestants and the judges. The competitive spirit spills over to the parents, the dress designers, and the cosmetic artists. The same girls who participated in pageants in elementary school, competed for cheerleaders, drum majors, and drill team captain in high school. By senior year, most pageant contestants had been competing for 12 years. This is an incredible amount of experience for 18-year-old people.
Many of my rivals went on to become media personalities, politicians, executives, and attorneys. The main ingredient needed to compete in a pageant is ‘guts’. If you were shy, being critiqued by a room full of parents, pageant coordinators, and judges would either drive away the shyness or drive you out of the competition. I dominated my public speaking courses in college because I had been singing in church since I was 2-years-old. Standing before a crowd was something I had done several times each week by participating in the annual Bible Bowl (oral competitions reciting Scriptures), youth choirs, and teen community groups. Speaking before a crowd was second nature. I recited Bible verses at family functions on a regular basis. Entertaining the family was a part of being a child in my family. In high school I also traveled the country participating in America’s Future Economists. Once again, I was writing campaign speeches and coordinating community service projects. People said I was good at public speaking at the collegiate level, but I believe I was prepared! Am I any better than any of you? No, it is possible that I have just received early training. I am an advocate for preparation. Decide what you want to do in life and prepare to win! Success is the best revenge! Abandon the mean spirits and vengeance, and win by being prepared. I will admit, there are times that we all want to show some mean-spirited people that we are capable and decent human beings. Unfortunately, some of the people we strive to seek approval from, are not worthy of our time. It is easy to dwell on misunderstandings and unworthy people, but we all need to focus on what is truly important. On that note, I owe you a lecture on the importance of focus. When I have moments where the competition has gotten to me, I remind myself to accomplish my next goal. The energy is best spent achieving a desired goal. We will never win everyone to our side.