I’ve been getting caught up in winning and losing lately. The politics in the playroom is getting pretty cut-throat and the pressure to take sides, whether regarding sports activities, political discussions, philosophical positions, religious notions, you name it, is increasingly intense. It almost seems as if winning or losing is more the issue than thoughtful reasoning about issues. Winning, it seems, becomes synonymous for many with success.
I read an article recently that suggested one was less likely to succeed if she was overly optimistic. I guess the idea is too much optimism inhibits the drive to compete; to strive for the head of the line, for the promotion or the big raise. The optimist, the writer suggests, assumes good things are in store regardless of how hard she works for them.
It seems to me the whole idea of winning presupposes a common desire which will be satisfied by material reward resulting in an enhanced sense of well-being. This ‘success’ will never be more than temporary which means additional winning will be required to not simply sustain it but to avoid the debilitating depression of ‘failure’, the result being a vicious cycle of competing egos egged on by media hype and recognition. Then, one day I awake to the realization someone else is determining my values for me; my well-being is no longer in my own hands and has become embedded in the competitive, material realm.
Well, I’m not having any of it. I really don’t care how popular success is measured. I’m staying positive and optimistic. I’ll look past the material realm and embrace the purity of beauty and truth. I understand this may require some disassociation.