I can still remember seeing him passing me like a blaze of lightning! He was heading the opposite direction and blew by me. He was the guy who went on to win the first half iron man triathlon I had ever done. The race is a 1.25 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13 mile run. That day the water was too rough, in New Orleans where we were racing, so we just did the bike and run. He finished in 3 hours, it took me over 6. He averaged 26mph on his bike, I averaged 17, I’m not even talking about the run. Let’s just say I figured out that day that I would probably never win one of these races. I have entered others and finished them, but was never close to number one.
What does it mean to win and be number one? Some people won’t do something unless they can win. They can’t stand losing and will quit things if they think they don’t have a chance to win. The danger is when we make the mistake of thinking that winning is the only thing that validates us as men. We have to learn why we are striving to be number one
Many people strive to be the best because they want to show others how good they are. They feel like the outward recognition will validate them as men and they will do whatever it takes to win. Over the years we have seen many champions who won contest but had their wins taken away when it was found out they cheated. They felt justified in their cheating because they wanted the recognition of being the best
Men who try to win for others will be intimidated or jealous of others who may be better. They will purposely do things to hurt other people’s chances of success because of their own insecurity. They hate celebrating others and will often bad mouth other people’s success. The sad thing is even if they do win at something they won’t be able to enjoy it because they always feel like others are out to get them
When we are striving to be our best from an inner drive, the outcome loses its control over us. We compete for the joy of competing and seek to do our best whether we win or not. Of course everyone would rather win, but if we did our best, we would have an inward satisfaction that would help ease the loss.
People who strive based on their inner drive can celebrate others. They are able to celebrate with other people because their worth is not based upon their accomplishments but on their character. When they do win, they can easily recognize the other people who helped them and contributed to their success.
We should all strive to be our best and give our all in everything we do. This isn’t an excuse to lose, it is the reality that winning comes from within first if we are to enjoy it.
If our validation is only tied to being number one, our life will be filled with emotional ups and downs that will hurt us and those we love.
What validation are you seeking as a man?
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