Angela Duckworth mentions in her book Grit that the word competition comes from a Latin word meaning striving together. The definition does not include anything about winners or losers. It’s about growing forward with others. Competing to best oneself.
What a great perspective. Learning how to win and lose with grace and embracing the knowledge that will bring you to the next level.
As my two kids prepared to compete at the World Irish Dance Championships last month, that was the one premise I wanted them to remember. In the end, my 16-year-old son came 23rd in the world in his age group and my 13-year-old danced his heart out after being off for five weeks with a broken foot. They both left it all on the competition floor and danced better than they had the day before.
Years from now, the medals will be buried in a drawer and the shoes will be hung up, but the memories of what was accomplished will be something they can carry with them forever. The idea of setting goals, persevering towards them even when you are tired, sore and deflated, and never giving up. These are the things that fuel growth and remind us that anything is possible if we give our best. And if we believe in ourselves beyond reason.
We win or we learn. Both things belong on a résumé .