Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cheers! To the Loser in Us

I recall my primary school days when my father would scold me for passing tenth in class. I always used to wonder why he fussed so much about it.  My usual response to him was I beat 16 other pupils and only nine got better results. He would then tell me I needed to be number one. Yes, the pupils with bad grades made me feel better about myself at least I was not a failure. There were others far worse than I was. This is how most of us are, we love being around the losers. After all, among losers we are a success story.

Even in our adult lives nothing much has changed. We consider ourselves as doing well when we compare ourselves to our relatives and friends. If you got a job and your friend doesn't you feel a little bit better. Maybe you are making your way up the ladder of success. In the same vein if I am walking and a friend is driving they are entitled to feel a level of accomplishment, right? Nothing stops them from using me as a yardstick for the measure of their achievement.
I do not find anything wrong hanging out with the losers if all we ever want is to satisfy our egos and maybe gain some kind of hero worship. But then some deliberately choose to mingle with them because they are afraid to chill with the successful ones. If we decide to hang around successful people we then turn out to be the losers. We are the ones the successful people use to feel good about themselves and measure their level of success. I know people say that do not compare yourself to others but that is something hard to do. I have tried and I have come to accept that sometimes I cannot help it, I love comparing myself to others.
Of course it hurts being the loser of the bunch. It is, however, dependant on how someone will take the loser status. Some people will become too uncomfortable and revert to their other loser friends of which they are the best of crew. Then for some they will use this as impetus to strive harder and also attain a level of success in order to break free from the loser tag. It is hard to dispute that if you hang around successful people long enough some traits may rub on you (unless you are just stubborn) and who knows maybe you could be on your way to the top too.
It is difficult to accept that at some point in our lives we were, still are or might become losers. As long as we continue to live in denial nothing much can be done about the situation. The moment we admit that we are losers can the journey to some level of success begin. It is the same in football. Prior to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations win, there was no point in Zambia claiming that they were winners. The fact was, we either lost on our way to the final or in the final until the day we entered the winner’s circles on 12 February 2012. Still when it comes to the World Cup, Zambia are losers. We have never qualified.
           I know that the definition of success is subjective, some measure it in monetary terms, others in good relationships, some in perfect health; each person does have their own perception. Regardless of what view we hold, at some point, in order to progress we need to embrace the loser in us. That means knowing that there is a lot more we can do. Yes, the philosophical readers of this blog will say stuff like, “I am a winner”, “I am a positive thinker”, “Success is my portion” and all that mumble jumble, well and good tell yourself all that good stuff. Go ahead have happy thoughts and do nothing, when I want to hang around with losers I know who to call. The journey towards success whatever that is to you begins with realising the loser in you. So let’s raise a toast to the loser in US!

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