I lost, or did I win?

Some Random Thoughts on success and failure following the elections and World Series.

Success and failure are two items that are very, very hard to judge and evaluate.  No one wants to lose.  No one wants to get second place.  Who remembers who was the loser in last year’s World Series or the Superbowl?  Those players may walk off the field feeling like failures but they did get to 2nd place.  Would they have been better off not making it into the playoffs at all?

Let’s take a rising baseball star who is “famous” for his high school ball playing.  He leaves high school a hero and huge success.  He gets into minor league play and is “average”.  He makes it to a major team but is benched and fades out after two years.  Still loving to play baseball, he signs up to play minor league ball in small towns for several years before ending up a coach for a high school team.  Here is the question: When was he most successful?  A rising star in high school?  An average minor player?  A lack luster major?  An average left over player?  Or a coach?  When was he a failure?  Was he ever a failure?

Although his professional career was not “shining”, he did make it to the professional arena.  This is far beyond the hopes of most ball players.  By most standards, this player was very successful and he should be elated.  In reality, he may sit in his room and feel like a total failure because he didn’t “succeed as a professional”.   Would he have been happier to walk away as the high school success?

Many incumbent politicians got voted out of office yesterday.  Are they failures?  Is holding a governor’s post for four years a failure because of not getting re-elected?  Is it an oxymoron to use the term “failed presidency”?  If you make it to the level of president, can you be considered a failure?

We should all strive to reach the best and highest level that we can.  At some point, we will all reach our limit of “success”.  We all hit a point of limit – it may be because of talent, skill, age, time, or just will power.  Success isn’t gauged by the point of limit but the attitude and effort getting there.

Although the “failed” baseball player didn’t succeed in his eyes, in my view he outdoes the player who quits before making the big league.  The challenge to all of us may be finding the “success” at whatever level we are at.  That ball player may end up being the best coach the school ever had.  That failed governor may become the best husband, father, grandfather and citizen in the state.

That is success in my book.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

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