Sometimes, I like losing more than winning. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to think that I'm #bi-winning as much as the next guy, but I often learn more from my losses. Here's why:
1) Losing brings introspection, winning attracts the sycophants. Whenever I lose anything that I've wanted to win, I try not to allow myself any time to feel sorry for myself. Rather, I compare my efforts and methodologies to the winner's, and gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to win. In other words, it motivates me to work harder. I never do this when I win - my ego takes over. I'm surrounded by people who congratulate me and tell me how smart I am. I start believing this, and I get lazy.
2) I'm a sore loser. I'm ultra-competitive. I'm the dad that sons hate to compete against because everything is a race. And sometimes, that's not cool. I need a reminder every so often that we need to enjoy the journey as well. I'll take a loss to remind me of this, and to become a more gracious competitor.
3) Sometimes, the things that matter don't come with awards and recognition. Each and every day, I meet everyday heroes that do amazing things, but are never recognized for it. I also meet people that win awards for superficial achievements. Invariably, I like the former much more than the latter. There's something in the attitude of people who do what's right, vs. the people whose success comes a little too easily.
4) Anything of value that I've won were preceeded by losses. My sweetest victories in life never came easily - I've had to work my ass for them. I never got it right on the first try.
This little nugget of self-indulgent philosophy is dedicated to all the students who competed in the SIFE Nationals competition, especially those that didn't win. You have dedicated yourself to making your community a better place; you're doing your part to change the world. Please continue to do this, even when you graduate and leave SIFE behind. When I look at the amazing contributions from the thousands of students across Canada, I am humbled. I encourage every student that "lost" to stand proud, and embrace this loss.
A shout-out goes to the SIFE MRU team at Mount Royal University, who I had the chance to mentor this year. They did an amazing job, and it will only get better next year. Also, I loved the story and passion that came from the SIFE Windsor team, where my MBA strategy prof, Dr. Allan Conway, is the dean of the Odette School of Business.