01 December 2015
We tried our very best, but we didn’t win. We practised for hours in earnest, but what is the point if we didn’t win? It’s not fair.
We often hear it’s not the winning that counts, but the taking part, which I firmly believe to be true. For example, the England Rugby World Cup team had one golden aim: to win, as any competitor would. They are the highest in their field, professionals to the end, and yet, they left this year’s World Cup defeated. A little dejected, yes, but what wouldn’t you give to take part? They practised so hard, and their experience of highs and lows gives credence to why they play the game.
Similarly, we can apply the ‘it’s not fair’ philosophy to many circumstances in life, such as not achieving the best exam results, or not getting the prize for a particular category, or not winning a competition, despite our very best efforts.
I might even go so far as to say that even irregular shaped vegetables such as carrots and parsnips are rejected from the pristine specimens on display in supermarkets, as they are not deemed attractive enough to purchase.
To truly conquer our feelings of dejection, we need to put things down to experience, learn from them and carry on – this time, more knowledgeable, more experienced and more determined. For those carrots and parsnips, they will be used in other ways, such as ingredients for soup, or sold to restaurants, or even sold to consumers at a cheaper price.
Having an eye on the prize is certainly a good thing – in school, on X Factor, even on Santa’s Christmas wish list. However, if we don’t get what we want, it’s actually ok - we will try again. Then when we do ultimately succeed, we feel good inside and know anything is possible.
Andy Murray is a great example of dogged determination, winning some competitions and losing many along the way. He quite rightly is ecstatic to have been part of the team that won the Davis Cup, the first win in 79 years for Great Britain. However, his thoughts on effort and achievement ring so true: “I regret maybe not celebrating as much as I should have done after some of my other wins, because now I know how much effort goes into achieving them. You never know when the next one might come - it may never - so we should make the most it.”
In celebrating the festivities over the coming weeks, let’s be grateful for what we receive and be gracious for what we give - and enjoy eating our vegetables, no matter what shape or size!