Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Winner’s Edge

Written by Janice K. Maxwell

If you’re going to hold someone down, you’re going to have to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined by you won repression.

Toni Morrison

US novelist-Nobel prize winner for literature 1993

Being an optimist, I don’t worry about the past; it’s the now and the future that is all we have. Hip hop mogul, Nellie has a song about being number one. It says that two is just a number and three nobody remembers. The Olympics is seen portrayed as an excellent representation of being a winner. We see the tangible of the athlete standing on the podium representing country, the medals and the 15 minutes of fame. Many people believe this as the only way to measure success and being a winner, but it’s not.

True winners posses attribute that are not noticed initially. For quite sometime, I have been receiving the email about the old woman in the purple hat. I’ve even seen the purple hat story expanded in the short story series by Ellen Burstyn and CCH Pounder. For those who have not gotten such a positive email, the following is a summation. It chronicles her life in decades.

As a teenager, she was concerned about her looks; as a woman in twenties, she was concerned about being worthy enough to be approved by her peers, husband ect… Now in her 70’s, she looks in the mirror, smile, puts on the purple hat, goes out to meet the world head on in confidence knowing that people will never stop her. Although we all have it, many of us do not know it: we are all winners. The intangible winner’s edge is measured by how well you do compare to what you could have done, which is to quit.

Persistence is the edge that true winners’ posses. The edge for such winners is giving it your best shot, personal achievement and having the right attitude regardless of the outcome. That edge is in college students who complete their degree on the seven year plan rather that the traditional four year. That edge is in marathon runners who finish dead last. They kept running hours after the race ended; they did not stop because the cameras and crowds were not there to greet them as they crossed the finish line. That edge pushes you to keep going because in the end, the race is with yourself.

The winner’s edge is finding contentment in your current space. Where you are right now is all you have because where you should be may never come. In many cases, the disappointments and unanswered wishes turned out to be some of the greatest blessings. The unplanned pregnancy becomes your only source of unconditional love when both parents died and the child’s father leaves you in a single year. The partner that you dated for three years and just knew you would marry once you got out of college – in four years but it really took seven. Acceptance and always moving forward is the edge.