Andre Agassi – Winning v. Success

We strive mightily to be successful in life. As we do so, we sometimes nurture the belief that success will change us. That when we reach the mountain peak, we will be re-born. The truth is that life does not work this way. Winning changes nothing. So said Andre Agassi. And, of course, he is right. No matter how great the victory, we still go through the same daily rituals. Life goes on. We are the same person that we were before the game started.

Does this mean that winning doesn’t matter? That success is unimportant? Of course not. The desire to win starts the game. But it is the joy of preparing to play and playing that makes the game worth while. If we win, great! But better still to know that we had a great adventure getting there.

Richard Feynman brings this out rather well when he talks about his adventure of trying to visit a place called Tuva.  And as Steve Jobs said, the journey is the reward. Basketball coach John Wooden touched on this same theme in making a distinction between success and winning. Success for him was doing your best to prepare to win.

So as you think about your life, don’t get overly absorbed in the end result. You need to visualize success. That is important to get you started. But once you do, enjoy the  game. If you want, you can call this the strategy of having fun.

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