Yesterday I mentioned how getting married and having a kid has been both the greatest teacher and biggest test of my personal development journey.

And, in a recent post on my Instagram account, I also mentioned how grateful I am that my son came into my life when he did, allowing me to share that journey and everything I’m learning with him at the same time.

(He was 7 when my wife and I met.)

Recently I came across some wisdom that I believe is one of the most important lessons I’ll ever share with him. Indeed, it’s become part of my own set of personal operating principles. I forget the author or where I found it, but essentially, it said this:

“When time is up, the game is over, and you walk off the field, no one should be able to tell if you’ve just won or lost.”

Being the keen little sportsman that he is, it was easy to explain this one to him. But the idea extends far further than the playing field.

This wisdom is echoed by the great teachers of Stoic Philosophy, and also reminds me of another mantra I often share with my son:

“Humble in victory, gracious in defeat.”

Of course, it’s hard not to express a little joy when achieving something we’ve been working for. After all, research has shown that even blind runners throw their hands in the air after winning a race (more on that in another article).

But let’s not allow ourselves to be sucked in and consumed by the result, whether it’s a win or a loss.

Enjoy the moment, be grateful for the outcome, and then see how quickly you can get back to equanimity.


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