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Ash. Spiritual. Happy in my own way. Writes Random Stuff. Ice Cream. Night owl. Ice Cream, again.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Winners Are Not Always The Best!

The other day on my way to work, I felt happy all of a sudden because I realized something very important. Winners aren't always the best. Sometimes, they are; but not necessarily always. That's mainly because winners are chosen based on the opinions of a few, who would not necessarily bring out the common opinion

You might wonder how this realization dawned on me. I was reading this book written by an Indian Author, which won a Booker Prize a few years back as a part of my reading challenge for 2014. I picked the book only because I liked the title 'The God of Small Things'. That's where the liking for the book started and I can pretty well say that's where it stopped. I told a friend that it felt like an 'Attention-deficit 10 year old narrating it' and she said that was the whole point. After I was told that it was intentional, I tried to read it the way I read other books, but I somehow couldn’t connect with it. (Now it's another thing that I ensure I complete reading a book irrespective of how bad I find it.)

This is just my opinion. A few friends said they loved the book and they were able to justify it. Just that, it was the same reason that I did not seem to like that book. Opinions differ of course and that's when I realized (after painfully reading a lot of review on the said book) that a lot of people did not like it either. Anyway that's not the point. The point is to not get weighed down when you're not the winner.

Earlier, we were trained/instructed to focus on winning. But now, much has been spoken about enjoying the journey without blindly focusing on the destination. Having said that, the amount of competition today is overwhelming. There is competition everywhere and it is a true case of 'The Survival of the Fittest'. Today we have more opportunities than the previous decades to showcase our talents to the world. This is a good trend considering that there are far more experts in today's world when compared to the past.

Where there was one expert, today we have a hundred of them. And all hundred are equally talented with passion to pursue their dreams. All hundred are capable of doing great things and go on to do them. But if someone were asked to judge who was the best among the hundred, there would be some criteria to narrow down on the choice for the best, or the best among the best. Finally, based on the opinion of the judge, a winner would be chosen. But does that mean that the remaining 99 are losers? Definitely not.

The problem is, people stick to the standard dictionary and firmly state that the opposite of the term 'winning' is 'losing'.  It might stand true for English, but in the game of life, it necessarily doesn’t. There are so many people who haven't won, but who haven't lost either. There is a middle ground. These people keep trying no matter what. They have set goals for themselves and would rather measure success by their own ways and means. Being adjudged a winner or a loser does not make a difference to them, because they know those are titles which others give them. The true title they consider worthy is what they give themselves. They measure their success against their goals and expectations.

So, finally what matters is what you think of yourselves and not what others think of you. What matters is what percentage you allow your mind to take in from others' opinion of you.

And that's why I feel that winners aren't always the best. And the best aren't always the winners!

What do you think?

42 comments:

  1. Aaaha, I finally found someone who didn't like The God of Small Things! I didn't exactly hate the book; I thought it was well written in parts, but I totally hear you. I feel the same way about Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Just couldn't get myself to read her exaggerated ideals. (I know this wasn't the point of your post, but couldn't help rambling.)
    It's wonderful reading you again, Ashwini! 'So, finally what matters is what you think of yourselves and not what others think of you.' Exactly- I'm trying to take this lesson to heart- what others think of you is none of your business. :)

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    1. I liked the plot but half the book was unnecessary words. I felt that way.

      Yes, what others think of us would not matter unless we accept their line of thoughts :-)

      Glad that you liked the post :-)

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  2. I tried reading the book when it was released and I couldn't understand it. But I read it again couple of years back and loved the book. :P I know you would hate to listen it, but somehow I liked it..I don't know why...but at the end, I agree with you.. winners aren't always the best :)

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    1. Yea, a few of my friends loved the book. Perhaps they found something which I missed out :-)

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  3. Excellent post. If one person is chosen as the winner, then does that mean that the remaining 99 are losers? I 100% agree with you. I will give 2 examples.

    In a music competition, Naresh Iyer came in at rank 22. Today, we do not know what happened to the first 21 contestants. When Michael Jordan wanted to play basketball for his high school, the coach did not select him saying he is not talented enough. What happened to the players he selected as the best? No one knows.

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    1. Thank you :-)

      This was something that I did not know, and it clearly brings out the theme of the post. Just because we dont win, doesnt't mean we are at the other extreme.

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  4. The issue is - there is always bias. Another thing is, each person has his/her own talents and capabilities. It is not possible to judge a monkey and an elephant based on a tree-climbing contest alone! That's what the world tries to do with people.

    I liked that book, but I didn't like her complex word-usage. In any page, I didn't understand about 30% of the words!

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Yes, There is always a bias. And there is no impartial medium to judge people. And then comes opinion.

      True that. I felt that half the book was full of unnecessary words.

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  5. Even I didnt like God of..and I have always wondered about the parameters of awards, rarely i find awarded books which are popular too..same in the movies also..and I can say one thing for sure that movies that are super hit may not be liked by everyone but majority likes them and they have something special about them,...

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    1. Yea, even I was wondering about the same thing. Almost all books which have won awards weren't very popular, barring a few. God knows.

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  6. I loathed that annoying book. I couldn't get past it for two pages. It made 'The Enchantress of Florence' feel like 'The God Father'. It was a birthday gift and definitely the worst one so far!

    Winning has a different definition for every one. You might lose a task but gain a lesson. That is winning according to me!

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    1. Haha :-). Yes, we do gain experience and nothing can compensate that :-)

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  7. Yes, I completely agree with Soumya. Winning is even a lesson learnt in hard times! Your post is really a treat to read always! :)

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    1. Aww, thank you so much Preeti. Your comment made my day :-)

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  8. Interesting ideas. I agree that winners are not always best. I think what makes a winner is the effort put in and the individual as a person.

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    1. Efforts matter a lot. If not for the immediate future, at least in the long run.

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  9. Yayyyy so its not just me but a whole bunch of people who didnt like the book!!!!!!!! uggghhh that book just took the life out of me. :P ... But true, Winners need not always be d best :) .. however like LL has mentioned, is d effort they put in towards it :)

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  10. Ashwini, anything done for own pleasure is bound to produce better results and creativity than anything done to impress others:)

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    1. Well said sir. So for all we know, this book would have made Roy happier than anyone else because she wrote it for herself and that's what is important.

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  11. As for the book "God of Small Things", well it is good. I have to differ in my opinion with you. The narrative is interesting and the language is spartan.Perhaps I could identify with the social times the book talks about because the author is my age and experiences , political, social and cultural aspects were not far out.
    Well as you said it is again matter of taste.

    Coming to what you said about winners well, it is true that sometimes if not often luck and other factors play a great part , than the quality.

    There is a good life outside winning too, so better move on

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    1. Yes, In fact most of my friends loved the book. Perhaps I missed out on what they had found while reading the book. I did not feel it was bad, I just did not like it.

      Wonderful words there, we need to learn to move on, as there is an equally good life outside!

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  12. I did not like 'The God of Small Things' - and I know many people who didn't!
    We are always trained to be competitive and to strive to win - I don't think you win only when you have a certificate or award to prove it...As long as you are happy and content, you are already a winner!

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    1. Yes, competition has become an ugly term these days. Earlier that was used to motivate people. I'm not sure if it does the same thing now.

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  13. I totally agree.Winners are definitely not the best. Like DI said, one person may be good at something, while another person may be good at something totally different.

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    1. Exactly, and that doesnt make them a loser.

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  14. Yes, the book made no sense to me. But, I believe more than winning or losing, it is about personal taste. Creativity is so subjective that what I dislike may be liked by others.

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    1. I'm surprised you did not like the book :-)

      In Creative fields, it is difficult to come to a common opinion as you said. That's very true.

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  15. True, not all winners are the best. Circumstances, luck, right person at the right time, plays a role too!

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  16. So true - winning doesn't always mean you're the best and losing doesn't mean you're a loser. It's how we get there that really matters.

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    1. And how we react and learn from those experiences. They help building character :-)

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  17. I didn't read God of Small Things because so many people told me not to bother! I agree with your analysis and there are some lovely examples in the comments that outline what I had in mind!!

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    1. Yes, I enjoyed reading the comments and others thoughts much more than when I wrote this post :-)

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  18. Very good points on why winners need not be the best always.
    Sometimes those who are choosing the winners, for them they are the best, sadly the rest don't agree.

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    1. I'm not taking anything away from winners. Just that others are good too. Circumstances define people.

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  19. Nice thoughts, its akin to saying, enjoy the journey more than the destination. There is a lot to learn in the process. Winning is important, as it gives a level of confidence to say we are in the race.

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    1. Yes, it is indeed important. I'm trying to convey that losing something should shatter your confidence to the core. Thanks for dropping by :-)

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  20. Totally agree with you.
    Winning is a very personal thing; the world may not acknowledge us but still we might be in our eyes.
    That is my spirit- not give up & try. I win even if I don't win awards! :)

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    1. True. What matters is if we've given our best and if we're satisfied :-)

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  21. Agree with you on this. For me, winners are decided by one's talents and the external environment. If I am most talented among others, but the external environment is not favorable - I dont win. If I am comparatively less talented but the external environment favors me - I win. To an extent, competition in India should be blamed for this. Either you are the best or among the rest. We dont win the Silver, we lose the Gold..

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    1. True , that's the common perception. In some ways it is good, and in many ways it isn't!

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