Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Win vs. a Victory

Each time the NBA winds up to the Finals I often remind myself of the difference between a win and a victory.

Whether you’re rooting for the favored team or not, when all is said and done, look at the expression of the players of both teams after the final seconds run out. It might be difficult at first but associate the win with one team, and the victory with another team. My opinion is that oftentimes a great series that takes it to the sixth or seventh game, those labels are split between the two teams. The series that end in four games usually has one team taking a win, and neither a victory. Or is it?

When the heavily-favored team dominates a game 150 to30, that was just a blowout … no, just kidding; it’s actually just a win. Not to take anything away from the winning team, but they were expected to win. On the other hand if the struggling team takes the series to seven games, and loses, did they really lose? What if they had depth issues all season, injuries left and right, barely winning their post-season games AND taking the championship to the seventh game? Many teams wish they would have made it that far. Who would’ve thought they would make it this far?

In life we are put through a series of tests, whether they are standardized tests in school or tests in life. Growing up I saw a lot of material items that was left to be desired, as that’s all they were, due to financial constraints. Nevertheless, I saw a few childhood friends get their wins in life early on, or so it seemed. From sporting the bling, driving in their expensive vehicles, flashing their cash and buying whatever they wanted … all as such a young age, too. As many other childhood friends grew out of the hype of this easy life of hustling on the street, we all later realize that we who have survived this long actually accomplished a victory. Each time we hit a milestone in life, positive or negative, was a victory as I guarantee you that many in the outside world did not see us surviving, let alone accomplishing much.

In an earlier chapter in my life, I can remember when I reached the final oral interview panel for the FBI Special Agent Selection System. I can remember how much focus was put on the neighborhood I grew up in, and how I managed to pull through. (I just want to add that today I wouldn’t dare walk through my ol’ neighborhood now without a protective detail of mercenaries.) However, I remember during my FBI screening that after basically defending myself fit, due to list of childhood friends who were now probably on their watch list, I experienced a paradigm shift at some point. It was one of those “wait a second, I didn’t make it this far to feel inferior about my background” and I ended up feeling prouder during the remainder of the interview, knowing, no, feeling the victory I had accomplished in life sitting in front of those senior FBI Agents.

A win is a moment celebrated and may soon be forgotten; a victory is a feeling that lives on within us and is forever.

As many of you feel like you’re not winning at anything: school, sports, career, or relationships, what about LIFE? I encourage you to look back at your life and the victories you’ve failed to celebrate. Stand proud at what many can only imagine, yet you’ve lived through and pulled through, VICTORIOUSLY.


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