Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Second Place Is the First Loser

English: 22nd place ribbon for a race
2nd place ribbon (Wikipedia)
by Brian Pray

When I was a kid I had a t-shirt that boldly said, "SECOND PLACE IS THE FIRST LOSER!"

I don't think my mom liked it all that much and to be honest, I wasn't 100% comfortable wearing it when I first got it because I always liked to do my "talking on the field."

That initial uneasiness didn't last long and soon I loved wearing that shirt.

I really valued the sentiment behind it and to me, striving to be the best was what it was all about.

It wasn't until years later that I finally understood the real meaning and significance of this quote.

When I first encountered this saying, I took it very literally and it was all about the outcome, the place that you finished.

If it wasn't first, then you lost ... regardless of where you ended up placing.

As I matured I realized that this quote actually had an even greater significance than I had initially thought.

I was no longer a brash teenager looking to "ruffle some feathers" but instead a mentor and motivational speaker looking to infuse an attitude of success and empowerment to those who looked to me for guidance.

I realized that "SECOND PLACE IS THE FIRST LOSER" was extremely powerful because it wasn't really about what place you finished; no, it was all about mindset!

When I was younger and felt uncomfortable wearing that t-shirt it was entirely because I knew that there really wasn't any shame in coming in second. In fact, it could be quite an accomplishment and the important thing was that you gave 100% effort.

Sometimes in competition you come up against a formidable opponent, someone who is more skilled or maybe who just outperforms you on that given day. Coming in second, or third for that matter, is actually okay - it can be an accomplishment.

Where the problem lies is when you begin to accept that outcome as an accomplishment and as the goal ...

... when you no longer strive to be #1,
... when good becomes good enough.

There can be satisfaction and honor if you do your best and you fall short. Provided you have given your "all," you can take solace that your effort was acceptable and only the outcome didn't turn out as you had hoped.

As long as your desire to reach the pinnacle remains intact and that drive and desire fuels you to be more diligent and more determined, then you are still on the right track.

The problem arises when you become satisfied with the outcome and you no longer use "falling short of your goal" as motivation to get better.

"SECOND PLACE IS THE FIRST LOSER," is truly a mantra to live by.

If you feel like you are becoming complacent or that "being good" has become good enough then you need to check your mindset and realize that second place is indeed the first loser.

I've always said that the hardest work that any of us will perform in our life is the work we do on the 5-6 inches located between our ears.

Keeping your mindset in check can be the difference between finding your success and well... second place.

More often than not, we create the very roadblocks that prevent us from finding the success that we are looking for. Eliminating those very roadblocks is crucial and I have created a podcast series to do just that and help you go from wherever you are... to wherever it is that you want to go.

You can listen on Facebook or Download on iTunes
Learn more about Brian

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