Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory. – Mahatma Gandhi
This reminds me of John Wooden’s teaching that it doesn’t matter if you win, if you don’t play your best, and it’s okay to lose if you do. The great privilege, and reward, is the competition, and who it asks and allows you to be.
It is how you play the game. I would much rather enjoy the planning and preparation, the training and effort, the visualization and strategizing, the game and each play or possession and the adjustments at half-time (or whenever), than placing all my attention on the moment of completion — when a scoreboard, or a judge, or whatever, tells me if I’m a “Winner,” or not.
When you do your best you have won. Not always the game, but the internal contest. If you’re worried about, or focused on, something else, ask yourself “Why?” It’s very unlikely that there’s a good answer. You’re the only score-keeper or judge that matters.
So, some coach-ey-ness for you: what tests you, and asks you for your best, but you’re not quite giving it? Where could you show up more fully, with more preparation, energy and presence? At work? With your spouse? With your kids? Many of these situations are not about traditional games and winning-and-losing situations, but what the game asks of you and what you actually give it (the game is a metaphor for everything in our lives . . . ).