“Winning is everything.”
“Win at all costs.”
“Losing is not an option.”
Mankind has been engrossed with winning and the men behind it since the beginning of time. From Gladiator battles to the Age of Exploration to modern corporate affairs and sporting events, winners have always been placed on a pedestal in society. You don’t need a rocket scientist or a molecular biologist to figure it out—people are engrossed with winning because it reveals who is superior.
Each generation has idolized the greatest winners of their time. Christopher Columbus was hailed for beating out the other explorers of his era. He was the first to set foot on the American continent and effectively began the European exploration of the new land. General Douglas MacArthur became an immortal historical figure after he fulfilled his promise to return to the Philippines and help vanquish the Japanese. Michael Jordan won six NBA championships and many more individual awards two decades ago, and it led to millions of dollars in revenue from advertisements which capitalized on his image as a winner.
There is still no surefire way to live forever, but winning provides people with a chance to become immortal through the memory of the people, which is why it is sought out so fervently. Nothing beats the rush of competition and the feeling of coming out victorious, and this drives people to do whatever they can to win. Besides, what kind of sane person wants to lose? I’ve felt what it’s like to come out a winner, but I’ve been on the losing side as well in sports, competitions, and everything else. I would choose winning over losing any day of the week, but I have also come to realize that as you go further into life, victories become harder and harder to come by.
We have all become engrossed with winning because of society’s norms. In general, competition is healthy and it motivates people to strive for their best with hopes of coming out ahead of the rest of the pack. It instills a good kind of fear in people which drives us to do our best to avoid losing. Competition makes us all better, but sometimes it becomes too much.
The right amount of hard work needs to be put in to achieve victory. As the popular saying goes, “No sacrifice, no victory” and it is a constant reminder that winning is a product of hard work. The need for hard work to attain victory has brought out the best in people for centuries, whether it is farmers trying to outwork each other to collect more crops or stockbrokers trying to gain the most profit. Oprah Winfrey’s family could not afford clothes for her when she was a child and they had to dress her up in potato sacks, but she worked hard and earned a full scholarship to college. She now hosts one of the top talk shows in the world and is worth billions of dollars. Not all people see the value of hard work though, and laziness often gets the best of us. It leads to cutting corners, excuses, and worst of all, cheating.
We’ve seen many people sacrifice their integrity for victory as they try to cheat their way to the top because we have become blinded by the allure of winning. Some notorious cheaters include professional baseball player Barry Bonds, who was caught using steroids to help his athletic performance, and Bernie Madoff, the man responsible for the Ponzi Scheme, which is known as the largest case of financial fraud in the history of the United States.
Cheating defeats the whole purpose of healthy competition, as it deprives us of a chance to grow and develop. By putting our head down and humbly putting in the necessary work for victory, we allow ourselves to improve our skills, develop our talents, and learn new things. We may often get the result that we desire early on if we decide to cheat, but sooner or later it will all catch up to us, just like what happened with Bonds and Madoff.
By continuously improving and striving towards becoming better, we put ourselves into a position to succeed and become winners. Though we may not win the battle at hand, in the long run we will win the war if we keep at it. Cheating to win a few battles will not help you to become the greatest in your field of your choice. The world’s greatest have all attributed their success to the blood, sweat, and tears that they have shed on their climb to the top. Your lack of skills and abilities brought about by laziness and cheating will eventually catch up to you and hold you down.
On the other hand, working hard, persevering, and doing things honestly may not always guarantee a victory right now, but our efforts, if unwavering, will just continue to snowball until we become the best at what we do. There is no shortcut to victory and hard work is the price that we have to pay for any form of greatness and immortality. It may be difficult, but nothing beats the feeling of a hard earned victory. Besides, what good is anything that we achieve if we have done nothing to rightfully deserve it?