Victory is Temporary

failure personal growth tl;dr Sep 28, 2021

Equal parts serendipity and determination recently brought me the enviable gift of two weeks in Greece. I have wanted to visit the birthplace of western democracy, philosophy, and theatre for decades; I also desperately needed a vacation—a change of pace and scenery to help me reset and recenter. When my plane touched down, I resolved to open every pore of my being to absorb what this place had to offer. The insights, awakenings, and inspirations were innumerable, but I share four of them with you here, as well as some corresponding coaching questions, in a Too Long; Don't Read format. 

The ancient Greeks who built the Parthenon understood that victory is temporary. Greece was frequently at war, invaded by its neighbors. They won some, they lost some.  A segment of the artwork that adorns the exterior of the Parthenon depicts various battle scenes, in which you aren't entirely clear who the victor will be--if one of the figures appears to have the upper hand, there also appears the possibility that the next blow could tip the scales in the other direction. 

Victory is temporary. You win some; you lose some. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Don’t be too arrogant in your winning; you won’t be on top forever. While winning is the enviable position, nobody likes a sore loser. There is much to be learned in failure. But while we are at it, let’s not see everything in such competitive and binary terms. Not everything is a battle. Compromise is often an overlooked option.

Coaching questions: Where have I imposed a competitive framework? What do I do when I’m winning? What do I do when I am losing? How have my victories and loses shaped my life?

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