For quite some time I have believed that ” Winning is not important.. it is how you get there that matters”. I have been trying to teach Nia the same thing for some time now too. I have been telling her that the journey is as important as the finish. That even if she doesn’t win or come first, as long as she enjoyed what she did, it is good.
But the competetive self in her doesn’t buy it. She sees the pleasure and the glory of a winner and strives to get there. No matter how much I tell her to enjoy something, her goal is to be a winner in it. It could be anything – dancing, singing, painting, running or even collecting sweets at a carnival. I mean how does it matter if another child collected 2 sweets more than you? You have a basket full and the chances are you are not going to get to eat them anyway… But no.. she needs those two sweets cause then she will have the max number… in short she becomes a winner!
I watched “ek mein aur ek tum” the other day and felt sorry for children who have parents like those of the guy – instead of celebrating the silver medal they are rebuking him for not winning the Gold…. And then instead of letting him try further, they just put him into a new activity… Poor guy spends his entire life trying to please his parents n “WIN” them something…. Nia had a bit of that attitude too. If she thinks she can’t win it, she won’t even start it. By telling her again and again that winning is not EVERYTHING, I have been able to coax her into trying new things now.
But I do realise something. ” Winning is not important.. it is how you get there that matters” – this is something that you would say to someone who hasn’t won. It is more of a consolation line than really meeaning it. Won’t I like Nia to win everything she gets into??? Ofcourse i would. And how many times do you go to a winner and ask ” Did you enjoy it? cause the one who lost enjoyed it!” No – the winner is so busy enjoying winning that he doesn’t care if he enjoyed it…Even if he didn’t, he is making up for it now. So would I like to teach her the same again??? ummm Noo.. I think what I would like to teach her is that Winning is important, but so is how you get there. If you put in your best efforts, enjoyed what you did, and still didn’t get to be the winner then it is ok. You should not STOP doing something just cause you can’t win it. If you enjoy it, continue. If you can win something but don’t enjoy doing it, then what’s the point in doing it again?
God knows I am not the best dancer around.. but I love it too much to stop dancing. Even on a ” Bad- Back” day, I can still dance to my favorite song.. But I know I have the brains to solve dull Maths problems.. I can do it in my sleep.. but they are so boring to do that they make me wish I were asleep everytime I start solving them. So .. my hope is that my kids can one day understand that Winning may be important, but it is not EVERYTHING!