Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Winning - An enigma

So, finally India has bagged its first individual gold medal in Olympics. It's good to see someone standing on the top of the podium with "jan gan man" playing in the background. It took whole country on a ride of happiness and rejoices, which incidentally made the cricket-freak-public forget about India's defeat in a test-series. Well, this is the best thing about "Winning". It takes away all the pain and agony and replaces it with immense pleasure. Winning simply changes the whole outlook of a person or a community towards every micro and macro aspects of life.

As this new century unfolds, though, the competitive urge is aimed increasingly at winning in everything you do -- and not necessarily at the expense of others. Leadership today involves motivating people, not killing them. Flatter organizations reward performance rather than title. And more people pick the places where they compete, easily moving in and out of jobs, industries, or even the workplace altogether. Today's competitors want it all -- career, family, and adventures that push them to new highs. Indeed, constantly trying to best previous winnings is the hallmark of some of the most competitive people in the world. Witness the intense discipline that prompted 19-year-old Santosh Kumar to borrow books, sell vegetables, tutor others, and study his way into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology, becoming a hero in his rural village in the northeastern province of Bihar. He's competing for a life no one in his family has ever had. Like Kumar, members of today's connected generation increasingly are driven to achieve more than their peers. Rivals make the game more challenging, serving as momentary roadblocks or even fuel.

What drives these people? Dopamine, perhaps, since scientists have found that activities such as winning tend to prompt a release of the feel-good brain chemical. Some eminent psychologist have correctly pointed out that the most chronic issue facing competitive people is "their excessive need to win not just the big points but the small points." So they attack a debate over where to eat with the same intensity as they negotiate a takeover. Yes, ambition can run amok. The world is full of people who compete in destructive ways, from despotic politicians to greedy corporate titans. That's the dark side of competitiveness, and those killer instincts are often fueled by insecurity, desperation, or vindictiveness.

In the context of competition and winning, I can remember one famous American quote, "In basketball you have to shoot 50pct. If you make an extra 10 shots per hundred, you are an All-Star. In baseball you have to get a hit 30 pct of the time. If you get an extra 10 hits per hundred at bats, you are on the cover of every magazine, lead off every SportsCenter and make the Hall of Fame. While in life, you need to hit it right only once in a lifetime and you are done" I think for rest all odds are still the same however for life, odds are getting different day-by-day. Now-a-days, everyone has to excel in almost every field he venture into and for that winning streak going, he need to remember just one truth – Winning.

Here lies the major problem; truth can never be changed so to identify something else like winning as the sole truth, the person is cheating himself. It results into pushing hard for certain thing and finally not getting much out of it (obviously, there is only one winner possible in most of the combats) This further leads to either suicides or many-a-times what some people call "burnt-out-syndrome". So, this needs to be taught to every person (if he's not learning himself) that there is a subtle difference between the winning and the desire for winning. Desire for winning, and not winning, should be the philosophy of people which will subsequently keep the competition, a competition and not make it a combat. However, there is one more issue with desire which somebody correctly pointed out- "Most of the desirable things in this world are either very expensive, or banned or committed to somebody else" Now, how to deal with this, I don't know!


Quaintzy Patchez said...

ahaa ;) somewhere in the middle of the post i thot i was sitting in an MBA class ;) lol

it turned out much better towards the end... well, to deal with desire to win, theres no sure-shot all u need to see is,

jeete to apna
hare to sapna... next time! and go to sleep to get your dreams true! :D lol

Dixit said...

"Go to sleep to get your dreams true"
Ye kesi irony hai :D

Quaintzy Patchez said...

you _know_ you must sleep to dream lol ;)

well theres this famous quote...

To achieve the impossible dream, try going to sleep
Joan Klempner :)