Are You a Winner? Are You Ready & Willing to Win?
(Author's Note: While this article was written a few years ago, its information is still pertinent... Happy Oscars each and every day!)
Every year, I watch the Academy Awards, along with millions of people all over the world. One year, as I watched the awards being announced and the winners stepping up to the stage, I wondered what was the appeal, for me, in watching this ceremony...
What I realized is that I enjoy seeing all these people winning. I enjoy seeing the expression on their face when they hear their name called as the winner. And I enjoy listening to them express their gratitude for having won.
As I think back upon those evenings, I realize that much of the Academy Awards can be a reflection on our own attitude towards winning and losing, and also to our attitude about success -- whether we are talking about success in our careers, relationships, health and fitness program, personal growth goals, etc.
Gratitude: Everyone Expresses It Differently
Some of the people faces, as their name was called as the winner, showed radiant joy, à la Julia Roberts. ("I love the world! I'm so happy! Thank you!") Others, showed happiness, dignity, and gratitude as in the many winners from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon "Thank you... everyone... who helped us so much in making this movie. It was a great honor." "It's a great honor to me, to the people of Hong Kong, and Chinese people all over the world."
And others, such as Russell Crowe, showed almost a disbelief or surprise at their having won. They obviously had not expected (though they may have hoped) to win. Russell Crowe, in his acceptance speech, said: "You know, when you grow up in the suburbs... a dream like this seems kind of vaguely ludicrous and completely unattainable. But this moment is directly connected to those childhood imaginings. And for anybody who's on the down side of advantage and relying purely on courage, it's possible."
Do You See Yourself As A Winner?
And so it goes with us. We have goals, dreams, visions. Yet, we may not expect to be a winner -- we don't really think we can attain our goals. We may, deep down, think of ourselves as unlucky, as losers, as not being good enough to attain the goals we have set and win the "prize".
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While we may talk the talk and look like we're walking the walk, we don't really expect to win. We say we hope we do, we pretend we think we can, but inside there is that voice that says, "Who are you kidding? You won't win. The others are way better than you. You don't have what it takes to make it." Sound familiar?
What Is A Winner?
What is a winner? The dictionary describes winning as: 1) gaining a victory, 2) finishing first in a race, 3) succeeding with effort. Yet, there has to be a standard to apply to what constitutes having won. In the case of the Academy, members vote, and whoever gets the most votes wins or rather, gets the award. (The Academy changed their terminology from "and the winner is" to "the Oscar goes to...")
What does that mean? In my perception, it means that we are all winners. Just for the fact of having made the effort, of having set the goal, we won. In the case of the Academy, only one person or team could be awarded the Oscar, yet everyone had attained a goal of having set a goal and successfully accomplished it.
We Are All Creating Something
As, Steven Soderbergh, the director of "Erin Brockovich" and "Traffic" stated "I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don't care if it's a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music, anybody -- anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us..." And that, when you really look at it, includes all of us. Whether we create a meal, a "job well done", or a work of art, we all are dealing with creating something.
And what makes us a winner at it? Perhaps our attitude is what determines if we are a "winner".
A winner has a goal, sets his energy to make that goal a reality. We do not need to receive an award or even a pat on the back to be a winner. We are a winner every time we "win" over negative self-talk, anytime we keep on walking towards our goal and our vision, even if the going is tough.
When Are You A Winner?
We are a winner anytime we believe we can win, that we deserve to succeed, that we are capable of attaining our goal. And we receive the reward and satisfaction of a job well done.
Thus we are all winners... simply by the fact of getting up in the morning and choosing to make our life and the lives of the people around us a little better by our words, actions, and thoughts. As the expression goes: It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
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About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
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