24 Feb Is Life Only Winning And Losing?
More and more, we seem to live in a dichotomous world: a world with less gray and more black and white. While the reasons are pretty complex, when the history of our time is written, I have a hunch there will be a pretty basic diagnosis: our harmful obsession with winners and losers.
Our world is becoming ever smaller and more interdependent too–because of social media, video chat, refugee and migration crises, and globalization (or whatever’s left of that) just to name a few of the culprits. But that physical closeness hasn’t necessarily brought ideological harmony. We’re becoming more divided too – on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, education, and economic position.
These changes feed not only into our best but also our worst instincts. From earliest childhood, when our parents took pride in whose child spoke, walked, or was potty trained first; to adolescence, when grades, popularity, and sports measured us against the “in crowd” or “the nerds”; to adulthood, when job titles and salary and vacation homes and cars determine success and failure; we’ve come, unwittingly, to believe one thing: that life is only winning and losing.
We've come, unwittingly, to believe one thing: that life is only winning and losing.
Here at Careerprint, we believe that there is a fundamental flaw in that worldview. In a world that measures worth in terms of winning and losing, there are, by definition, far, far more losers than winners. The hierarchical pyramid moves from the many to the few to the one.
Under our model, we know that it’s possible to live a life measured by meaning and compassion instead of competition: a life based on the belief that when any worthwhile practice – be it a career, a marriage, or even a community – is measured by winning and losing, everyone really loses in the end.
As career personnel, the companies we work for (and therefore our own work cultures) are driven by mission statements and values. Our employers measure success by goal setting, assessment, and outcome measurements. Yet, all too often our career successes tend to be measured against the failure of someone else (Will I be the one offered the position? Will I be the one promoted?) This has the dangerous ability to turn life into a zero-sum game. As a result, we find fear and envy instead of compassion and cooperation.
This is not the way we should be raising our children, managing our direct reports, supporting our colleagues and friends, or living our lives.
We believe that there is a better way. A way that sees a career as part of a whole life and a whole life as a facet of a whole person. We believe that understanding the parts of that whole person is the first in many steps that lead from competition to cooperation, envy to gratitude, and from struggle to peace.