October 16 – Winning, losing and accountability

October 16. “Win without boasting. Lose without excuses.” (Vince Lombardi)

Grace. That is really what this quote is about to me. It’s about being both a gracious winner and a gracious loser. Vince Lombardi is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in National Football League history. He knew how to motivate his players to play at a consistently high level. His teams were enormously successful in the 1960s, winning multiple championships. In this quote he is pushing the players on his team to handle their wins and losses in the right way.

For me, to win without boasting means to take your victories in stride, whether those victories are in sports and games, or in the daily challenges of life. I was taught at a young age that self-praise stinks, if I did something that was praiseworthy, it was best to let someone else notice and mention it, than to beat my chest and announce it to the world. I learned that when I win with grace, and allow others to notice and make comments, that those comments are far sweeter to the ear.

I am never one to make excuses. When I lose at something, or when things just don’t go my way, I take accountability for my own actions and my results. If it is a competition, I give credit to the person or team that was victorious. Making excuses just isn’t part of it for me. I don’t see the point in excusing this or that outcome. If I have put forth my best effort and it wasn’t successful, then I can pick up my lessons and move on to the next challenge. If I didn’t put forth my best effort, then I have only myself to blame.

Today my reflection is on winning and losing. I am not reflecting only on direct competitions, but also on those wins and losses that come with everyday challenges.

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