DC JAMES: “Money talks, Bullshit walks, but Losers raise the Stakes”.
Illustration: Giants Of the Newspaper: Joseph Pulitzer vs. William Randolph Hearst, and Philo T. Farnsworth, the first inventor of Television vs. David Sarnoff of RCA.
DC JAMES: “Nice guys finish first when the last guys are considered bad”.
Illustration: Chicago Bulls vs. The Detroit Pistons
Make no argument against this fact, but in my opinion, the Pistons made the Bulls …Champs!
It’s important to understand what it is that pollutes and what it is that short-circuits the competition and the competitor. The spirit of wagering that is often involved in a competition. Thus, there is a very negative stigma placed on the loser. Thus, there is a misappropriate practice of wagering and betting on the efforts of those who are competing. Of course, it’s the mere fact that one is in contention and opposition, respect should be given at all times to everyone involved. It’s not that one wins, but rather, that one plays …their best.
This is where the “fear of greatness” sows its seeds and corrupts one’s esteem. Things tend to play out when there is a loss of hope. The stakes are raised then wagered in gross fashion for there are many who compete and even more to gain through the competition.
Prizes, accolades and the spoils of the victory are thus lavishly played and paid to the winners. The losers, well, they lost. It was a good effort, but they failed to redeem themselves as winners (sorry no participation trophy here).
Boxers would call this “prize fighting”. When others fight for us, should we still fight for ourselves? According to media reporters and writers, there is a bias and an angle in which to sell rags and not to report objectively. There is then always a slant. Albeit, us versus them, home versus away. And more good headliners to hype the crowds, the winners vs. the losers. The good guys vs. the bad guys, black vs. white, and even the facts vs. fiction. Can we say evil vs. good?
I seem to recall a mentor on the Voice wherein P Diddy Combs and then, of course, Pharrell Williams is guiding two specific singers in the preparation of their song. It was blatantly obvious that the two singers were letting their nerves get the best of them. To say they were “star struck”at the moment was an understatement. These two iconic mentoring figures are quite successful and now, they (the mentees) had to perform in front of them and win them over. It was a grueling time of performing, to say the least, but consider all of the rehearsals and practices that prepared them for this competitive moment.
Needless to say, they failed to see just how GREAT they were as they were too awestruck by celebrity. Mind you, hands down, they were better by all accounts in performance than their mentors were in and at that moment.
So why did our nerves overwhelm us!?
As grandiose figments of our imagination can create blockages, the paralysis restricts us and we become paralyzed at the threshold of reckoning. We all possess freedom of expression, but we lose the nerve under pressure when expressing freedom (creatively).
Most people perform best when no one is watching. So, when the audience, the peers, the competition and the spectators, as well as judges, are removed; the competitive nature seems to calm down and take flight so effortlessly. No doubt, we do play differently when someone is keeping score.
But who is keeping it and how is it being kept?
“A” is for effort. The “F”s need not apply.
Children often hold the key in the most unassuming of nature. When following “The Voice” program, Steve Harvey’s “Little Big Shots’ was often showcasing talent. It wasn’t to pit them one against the other. It was because the children are unassuming and extraordinary as they are unhindered. The reward? Attention, Adulation, and of course, Affirmation. Pressure isn’t the prize. This is a fine example of “attempts to achievements” when the creativity prospects are in pursuit of expression. This gives a greater impact on self-esteem than if they have to do it.
Finally, it’s the opinion, the experience and the observation from a mentor and coach. When you remove the wagering the weight is lifted. Revelation is that the spirit is competitive. Focus inward to challenge oneself and prove to oneself in that the comparison to others isn’t that at all, but rather, against one’s personal best. It’s an internal aim not external.
The rule? The rule is to win …by besting oneself not others.
Draw or lose, each attempt toward this objective is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Doesn’t that denote personal growth?
Doesn’t that show dignity and resolve?
This is a fact …Attempts are your achievements.