Read that title again. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been asked this question before, but I definitely think it’s one that is worth contemplating.
It’s safe to assume that most people enjoying winning. Although some of us are certainly more competitive than others, getting that “W” is pretty much always considered more fun than the “L”. But what is the driving force behind how we view (and ultimately answer) this question?
I think a lot of us growing up experienced some of the typical “reward vs. punishment” techniques. We were rewarded for good behavior or positive outcomes and vice versa. If you got good grades you could get that cool new video game and be rewarded, or maybe you got your phone taken away if you only got C’s on the report card. However I think this technique did us all a big disservice. These methods taught us to focus too much on the result and not on the journey that got us there.
We tend to only congratulate ourselves if we did whatever it is we set out to do. It’s only a proud moment if you actually make the volleyball team in high school. But what about acknowledging the fact that you had the courage and put in the hard work and effort to go to those try-outs in the first place? The same thing applies to what we view as failures. If we didn’t get first place or do exactly what we set out to, it’s considered a flop. Take this and apply it to whatever principle you’d like: work promotions/projects, PR attempts in the gym, you name it!
So if your answer to the title question was the latter, you may be a bit married to the outcome. Start rewarding yourself for trying. The work comes in learning to fall in love with the journey, not only the success of the result. We can’t tie our own value or worth on something like winning or losing, or it is certain we’ll never be “good enough” or happy.
If instead we can practice seeking joy in the growth, we won’t be so caught up in whether we got the victory or not, because we will always be winning.