Older people might say that starting with the millennial generation, “kids these days” have “gotten too soft.” As we go around handing out all these participation trophies and getting into all the warm and cuddlies, we’re losing sight of what it means to be tough and resilient. To work hard for what you want.
And maybe it’s with this “participation trophy” approach to life that we’ve seen shifts in how people think about their lives and what they do. We see more of the “do what you love ” or the “don’t worry about the money” kind of thinking, more of the “live for the moment” kinds of perspectives. Is this all misguided? Maybe. Maybe not. Or maybe it’s just about putting it all in the right sort of context.
Swinging for the Fences
Not too long ago, a colleague of mine shared a story with me. Maybe it was based on a real experience, maybe it was just hypothetical. That part doesn’t really matter. The message does, though.
He was at a Little League baseball game and the coach was giving the typical pep talk to all the kids. It starts out innocently enough with all the usual things you hear from little league coaches these days. “We’re going to get out there on the field and give it all that we’ve got,” he began.
The coach went on to talk about how much they’ve learned and bonded and all that. He continued, “And remember, the most important thing is that you all have fun out there.”
Standard “participation trophy” type pep talk, right? But then the coach followed up with this line: “And the way that you’re going to have the most fun is if you win. So, get out there and win!”
Nobody Likes to Lose
There it is. I’m just going to go ahead and state the obvious, if you weren’t thinking it already. No one likes to lose. Losing stinks. That’s why so many people are so scared of failure (they shouldn’t be ). If you had the choice between winning and losing, you’d picking winning 100 percent of the time. Of course you would.
It’s a bit of a harsh lesson and it might be a very unpopular one when it comes to Little League and other similar sports programs for kids, but you can very much see how true it is for the real world and real life. If you put yourself in a competitive environment, no matter how much you enjoy the activity itself, winning is a real cherry on top. It’s hard to have fun when you keep losing, whether it’s Street Fighter, baseball, or Monopoly.
And yes, it’s also true when it comes to being an online influencer, Internet marketer, blogger, YouTuber, Instagram model, Etsy store owner, or any other similar business venture. Of course you want to win, whatever “winning” or “success” mean to you.
The Winning Formula
Of course, figuring out how you get there is another matter altogether. And, truth be told, if everyone knew how to win at this Internet game, then everyone would already be doing it. And if everyone was winning, then winning would start to lose all meaning too. A big part of the reason why winning feels so good is because it’s the big payoff for all the hard work you’ve put in along the way.
While you certainly want to have a good time with it while you’re out there putting in the hours, it’s when you keep the prime objective in mind that you’ll actually get better at what you do. Love what you do and the money will follow? Sorry, the world doesn’t work that way. Love something until you’re successful at it? Nope, that doesn’t work either.
Maybe you need to take a page out of Scott Adams’ book and just be successful at something. Then, you’ll learn to love that something, but it’s easier to love it when you’re winning.
Now, get out there and have some fun.