Winner instinct

Competition gold medal winner

Are you a winner or a looser?

Sorry, that was a bit rude. Let me start again by pointing out that this depends on ones perspective, but also by being the first to reach the egg out of millions of sperms makes us all winners from the very beginning. Nevertheless, most of us feel like winners in some part of our lives, and losers in other. Let me ask you a question, when you get plenty of invitations to super yacht parties during the Monaco Grand Prix or to the prestigious Amber lounge, does it make you feel successful? Maybe for a day or two, but is it enough in the long run?

SO, with the Rolex Tennis masters and the Formula one Grand Prix behind us, we have been exposed to many impressive sport achievements, and it got me thinking, what does it take to become a winner in sport compare to a winner in life?

I use to be a competitive cross country skier when I was young. I entered competitions every winter and won all of them, for a while.But when the competition became harder and I started loosing, I quit the competition all together. I actually did not put the skis back on for another 10 years. I had no coach except my step dad, and he was basically making sure my skis were prepped correctly and gave me a kind good luck, and that was  it.

In Norway, where I grew up, we are thought from early age that it is more important to participate than to win.This is a healthy approach, but when did that ever bring anyone to the olympics? Looking at this statement now, the first thing that comes to mind is that they were creating winners in life and not on the sports arena. So what do we do in 2018 if we feel like junior has a sports potential? First of all, we are so happy they are doing something else than playing on their iPads or playstation, that we instantly look up to the sky and nod with gratitude thinking our prayers have finally been heard. We show up at practice or at least competitions, and then we post photos all over social media of our successful children, feeling this is adding to our already successful life. As the mother of a famous pianist so bluntly put it, in a strong German accent btw: “you will practice the piano and you will like it!” But what does the psychologists say about the matter?

It turns out that talent only counts for ten percent and the rest is all winner instinct, mental toughness and of course relentless practise. It helps to have a good team behind you, and as a professional athlete you are competing only against yourself, preforming better all the time.  A psychologist at Stanford University say that masterful athletes have confidence in their abilities to control their behaviour, maintain their motivation, and establish a positive living environment. Being able to avoid distractions, and having social support and good relationships with their coaches all led to better performance. Isn’t that what we want in life as well? The truth is that there is not much difference between the two. What we often forget is that in order to perform well, we need to feel well, and that our mental state of mind is indeed linked to our environment. After all the most important thing in life is to be happy, and now it is our job to find out what exactly that is, for both our children, and ourselves…

Renate Bibow Mjelde

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