It may only happen once every four years, but World Cup fever is a kind without remedy, and one that sweeps across and claims the global population at a pace true of any pandemic. If like us, you have been foolish enough to submit yourself to some sort of office sweepstake, tensions will already be running high, particularly if like myself, you pulled Panama from the hat.
Win Some Lose Some
In the wake of their 6 – 1 loss to England at the weekend, my chances of winning are receding faster than Wayne Rooney’s hair line, nevertheless, my spirits were lifted when it struck me that I could still be a winner in the ‘greatest defeat’ category, which got me to thinking – can we ever truly lose if with every loss perceived, there is also an inherent pay out?
It's not about the winning
Anyone who knows me will know that I am uncomfortable with competition per se and am the sort of mum when sports day is looming that can be heard repeating the mantra, “it’s the taking part that counts”, just as much to allay my own anxieties than anything else. That said, it is without doubt that competition breeds progress, both personally and in business, and without it we would simply be standing still, but with every competition there is a loser. How people lose is where I think my issues manifest.
It's the taking part that counts
Take Panama for example – when they scored their one goal of the match, the crowd erupted as if they had won the Cup itself. Irrespective of what the rest of the world was watching, it represented victory in the eyes of their mere 3.5 million population, who were still reeling from Roman Torres’ 88th minute goal in the qualifiers, after which the president of Panama declared a national holiday rejoicing ‘the voice of the people has been heard’.
Lose, Learn, Be Better
Speaking about previous game losses midfielder Gomez says, “Francisco Maturana [a former Colombia manager] said sometimes to lose is to win, we lost out but I think we weren’t ready as a team and that day brought us together”. So, while England celebrated near enough total domination of their 90-minute kick about, the population of Panama celebrated simply the opportunity to take part, for the opportunity to represent their country and further bond as a team and the nation swelled with pride which even the most stalwartly of England fans succumbed to sharing with them.
Be A Winner
Witnessing Panama’s defeat on Sunday restored my faith in humankinds’ ability to process loss – if 11 testosterone fuelled beasts and a 5000 strong Panamanian crowd can react so positively to being handed their asses, we can all try a little harder to take a moment to think – what would Panama do?
Next time we might find ourselves on the wrong side of a pitch, that is what we shall endeavour to do, because really the only losers in any game, are the ones who allow defeat to beat them, rather than having the tenacity to subvert that tendency and come out on top. Winning.