The biggest win of allReal champions know how to accept defeat
Over the past few years, I've made unforgettable memories with people in Journalism. If these shared moments didn't exist, I'd live a bland life. Photo Credit: Shareen Basyari
Zoning out the murmur of my mom’s Indonesian sinetron, I sit in my bedroom with Google Hangouts opened on my phone. A swarm of messages from my adviser spam my screen as he announces all of the contest winners from the Chicago JEA/NSPA convention. I expect him to say my name, but before it can happen, he says, “Congrats to everyone who placed!”
It’s clear by now that I am an overachiever. I constantly push my limits, accomplish more than I ever expect myself to and earn awards for my work. Since I’m so used to this trend of winning and recognition, I sometimes get too cocky and expect myself to do well in whatever I compete in.
Something changed, though. Over a week ago, I participated in a write-off and didn’t receive anything. For the first time, I didn’t even take home an honorable mention. Although I wasn’t surprised by my loss because I was tasked to do a music review, which I have never tried writing before, my ego was still bruised.
This sense of failure didn’t last very long. As my adviser sent out a list of all the awards my classmates received, my heart felt warm as I read the names of my newspaper staff come after “honorable mention,” “excellent” and “superior.” Actually, knowing that they all won awards made me feel more like a winner than the time I was chosen as room representative for the Las Vegas Sun Youth Forum.
Not to brag, but I work for the best journalism staff there is. They may or may not know this, but they’re hard working people who have a passion for our publication. I believe that as long as they put their minds to a task at hand, they can achieve great success–and their accomplishments prove me right.
As co-editor-in-chief, I’m starting to realize that I need to be selfless in order to be a good leader. I shouldn’t sulk over an award that I didn’t receive or feel envious of my staff members. Instead of obsessing over awards, I should just focus on helping my staff work towards their goals as journalists. By doing this, I won’t have to over achieve to feel like a champion anymore–I’ll already be one.