‘We lose’ is the most often used word for that line of thinking. It’s all about the result: it’s either ‘win’ or ‘lose’; there is no in-between.
As a camp director, I get to help some young people manage the ‘we cry’ reaction. And, yes, they get a lot better about it over the years. You would think it’s all boys but it’s not.
We even hear some people finish the sentence with ‘we laugh’. As a competitive person myself, I’m not a fan of that mentality. I certainly want laughter involved with competition – it is supposed to be joyful to play. But, if I don’t win, I’m not always going to laugh.
You may have other ideas on what should finish the sentence. To us at Weequahic, the best way to finish ‘We either win or…’ phrase is this: we learn.
Thomas Edison famously said ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that do not work.’ We all see a great deal better for his persistence in learning. Failure to learn from the situation is the truest failure because it dooms us to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
Now, just because we decide (and, yes, it is a decision) to approach winning or learning in this manner doesn’t mean the lessons won’t be uncomfortable or, at times, painful.
We’ve learned a lot over the past decade of running Weequahic and have changed everything from the menu to the snacks to how we do our programming and more. Some of that learning has been joyful but a lot of it challenging. But, I believe we are a better camp for those lessons. And, I know our campers are better off for this mentality, too.
As we approach a new school year, our campers will have many opportunities to either win or learn. (Hopefully, they will learn in both situations!) Our hope is that they’ll work hard to either win or learn in every opportunity they find.
Good luck to everyone at school this year. We can’t wait to see you back at Weequahic for Summer ’18!