In sports, there are winners and losers. It sounds bad but it’s the truth. The only thing second place gets is a chance to say they competed against the best, #1. Recently, I’ve had a string of second place finishes. I was 2nd place overall in a 10k race, 2nd place female in a half-marathon, 2nd place 30-34 female in a 5k. In each race, the first place person either passed me or beat me by close to 5 minutes. (Which is a lifetime in running world). Don’t get me wrong, I was happy just to finish the race. But I also wondered, “How could you let them beat you?”. My competitive side yelled “I MUST train harder!”.
‘The guy who finished second.’
The guy who finished second who?….’
In a world where people are addicted to trophies, success and #winning, is it okay to come in 2nd?
Recently, a good friend and I had a “life talk” about work. She had a chance to accept a highly coveted position with her company. Several people were gunning for the job. The bosses secretly offered it to her. She turned it down. As a single-women eager to climb the professional ladder, I was a bit confused (WTF???). I asked her why she declined, she said “It’s okay to be 2nd”.
Accepting the job would have put her in a #1 position that includes more money and more perks as well as longer hours and greater responsibility. Like Notorious B.I.G. said “Mo money, Mo problems”. By turning down the position, she can spend more quality time with her husband and kids.
In life, there are things more important than medals and promotions such as family time and quality of life.