I try to live by a simple motto: when evaluating your outcomes, look for reasons to succeed, not excuses to fail.
As part of my inspiration to write this blog post, I just updated one of my websites by restoring a story on Thomas Edison and the mythical quote on his 10,000 failures to invent the electric light bulb. You'll find the link to that story at the end of this blog post, and you can read about Thomas Edison as one of the best examples of a successful state of mind
I have stayed away from social media more than usual lately because of all the negativity. The news have been dominated in recent days about people wishing for the failure of the incoming presidential administration. The world seems to be super charged with negativity. All the "not my president" memes and cartoons are getting way out of hand.
For all the years I have been eligible to vote, going back to the days of Gerald Ford, more often than not, the person who I thought was the best candidate to become president never made it out of the primaries. Along the way I have voted for many losing candidates in the general election. For all my discomfort and frustration, I have always accepted the results of the election, and supported the president in respect for our country. When a candidate I dislike has won, I have asked myself, and others, is there something I could have done to change things?
In the world of the Tao of Questy, the goal is not to take sides in an "us versus them" argument, but to stretch your brain to see things in a different perspective. To all the sore losers in politics, stop and think about this, when you lose, don’t lose the lesson. On social media I don't see many people asking the question, "Is there something I could have done to change things?" But I do see a lot of people looking for ways for the new president to fail, hoping he will fail. So much for good sportsmanship.
Turning to sports
I enjoy sports. I hope it would be a good escape from all the political rhetoric. But today the big story on the sports talk shows is the ranting by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce who spent his entire postgame media session ripping the referee and the rest of his crew. Worse than the crazy rant by Travis Kelce is the fact that the sports shows keep showing it, and keep talking about it.
I watched the game. Like most close games there are many things that could have been called that were missed. Yes, it was the heat of the moment, and yes, he was emotional. But this was the same Travis Kelce that was penalized during the game for shoving a player to the ground out of frustration. Another negative example in sportsmanship, and another reason to illustrate why athletes shouldn't be our heroes.
The Dallas Cowboys lost a close game on Sunday. I am not a Cowboys fan, but I was impressed by their interviews after the game. There was a lot of talk about what they achieved, and how they looked forward to next year. Comparing the two scenarios, it sure gives meaning to the thought that winners have reasons, losers have excuses.
The real heroes in our world
If you are looking for the real heroes in our world you need to read about The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Created in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the commission awards the Carnegie Medal to individuals who risk their lives saving or attempting to save others.
I recently saw a CBS News Sunday Morning segment cover the Carnegie Hero Fund. There are some pretty amazing stories, like the 19-year-old mother of two in Auburn, Illinois, who saved a 75-year-old man who had gotten his wheel chair stuck on the train tracks.
Check out the CBS News Sunday Morning segment, Carnegie Heroes: A definition of selfless humanity.
Check out the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission
Take time to reflect
It's pretty sad that in recent days in sports and politics that sore losers dominate the news. To all the folks in politics who proudly proclaim "not my president" and all the sports stars and fans that blame the loss on the officials, take a moment to step back and reflect.
Winning is not the magnitude of the outcome, it is the perspective of the outcome. Failure is an attitude, not an outcome.
Winners have reasons, losers have excuses.
Need some inspiration to succeed? Read about Thomas Edison and why some people never fail