In the past week I had some massive learnings in my personal life about life being fair or not. I think many people are brought up with a belief that ‘life is not fair’ and even that, in a way, is not fair. It’s almost as if life SHOULD be fair. But what if life is fair just as it is. I had the same conversation with a client about perfection, and many people struggle with things being perfect and think that they have to let go of perfection.
WHAT IF the results you have in life ARE fair just as they are. What if the results you are getting ARE perfect just as they are.
Let’s go to the Olympics to demonstrate my point.
If you have a champion mind, then you can’t help be inspired by the performances in the past week in London at the Olympic Games. Some athletes have excelled, others have fallen and watching the interviews of the athletes has given me an interesting perspective on the results.
Michael Phelps struggled in the beginning of the games and then still came out on top to become the ‘winningest’ Olympian ever. In his interview with NBC he admitted that he did the amount of training that he wanted to do, and his results reflected that. If he wanted to do better, he would have had to work harder, and that didn’t fit into his plans.
Life is Fair Lesson 1: Results are in proportional to what you put in. Look at your own results and put them in perspective. What do you need to do differently to change the outcome? Think about your goals and how much you are prepared to do what it takes to make those goals happen.
Usain Bolt fulfilled his own expectations that he would win the 100 metre race despite the detractors that thought perhaps his time was over. He had previously been beaten by his team-mate Yohan Blake at the Jamaican trials. Bolt said that it was these losses that spurred him on to this great win.
Life is Fair Lesson 2: You don’t always get what you want, you always get what you need. Sometimes you need the losses in order to win in life. What can you learn from your failures? How are your losses a blessing?
I think there is great humility to be learned in a loss – humility that makes for the greatest champion. This might be the lesson to be learned for some of the greats that have fallen during these games – James Magnussen was expected to win Gold in the 100m freestyle for Australia, McKayla Maroney was a ‘sure-thing’ for the Gold in the Women’s Gymnastics Vault.
I remember when Leisel Jones went through a humbling stage in Athens when she was a disappointed runner-up in the breast-stroke. She copped a lot of negative press for being a spoiled brat, and then went on to become one of Australia’s most decorated and successful swimmers.
In my opinion, Missy Franklin (swimming), Gabby Douglas (gymnastics), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (track and field), demonstrate passion for their sport and gratitude for their giftedness. This gratitude translates to humility and I think helps these athletes to succeed without having to suffer a fall from grace.
It is said that 4th is the worst position to finish – just out of the medals. But let’s stop and think about it. Isn’t 4th a whole lot better than 10th or last? Let’s get perspective in our lives and focus on the result we did get, rather than what we didn’t get. There are 10,500 athletes competing in 302 events – which means a total of 906 medals. Less than 10% of the athletes will win a medal.
Life is Fair Lesson 3: Not everyone can finish first and there is still a way to win when you don’t. When we focus on what we did achieve and how we did win, we will feel greater fulfilment in life and are more likely to succeed.
If you look at your results as being perfect and fair just as they are, it can put you in a positive and resourceful state to benefit from them. That benefit may be a lesson, or it may be that you can feel positive and empowered in the result that you got – that win or lose, that you are a winner and you are good enough.
What do you think? What perspective can you add on whether life is fair or not? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.