The difference between winning and not

Posted on October 26, 2010


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The winner of the Tour de France, Alberto Contador, finished the 3471 km race in 91 hours 58 minutes and 48 sec.s

The guy in 4th place?  Samuel Sanchez, finished in 92 hours 02 minutes 28 sec.s. –  just 3 minutes 40 sec.s longer – over 3471 km.s.

The winner of this year’s Boston Marathon, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, ran 26.2 miles in 2:05:52.

Ryan Hall, who finished in 4th place, ran the distance in 2:08:41 – about 3 minutes slower for the 26.2 miles.

When I was in law school, the distribution of grades/GPAs over a 4.o scale from highest to lowest, could be measured in hundredths of a point.

The difference between the ‘winner’ and someone who doesn’t even place can be tiny – yet we celebrate ‘winners’, and we ridicule ‘losers.’

QUESTION: Do you think this distinction and these values makes sense?  Does it make us try harder or produce better results?

I know that when I set my kids to any kind of competition, they tend to leap in if they think they have a chance of winning – and to whine and make excuses if they think they won’t.

How do your beliefs about winning and losing affect the way you set goals, the way you see yourself, and the way you treat others?

Would love to hear your views on this.

thanks, Ami

Update: corrected my Tour de France results, thanks to lip for the input.

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