Why are we having a discussion around participation trophies?
Many people believe that by giving participation trophies we are devaluing the first place trophy. Some have even gone far enough to say that the child receiving the participation trophy feels worse from receiving it.
The discussion and the debate around this is the problem - NOT THE TROPHY.
In our culture we are raising people to believe that success is a scarce resource. That you can only achieve success if you are higher or better or make more or have more things than the person next to you. That we are on constant competition with those around us.
Our culture is wrong.
Success, when defined correctly, is abundant.
Success is an internal struggle. It is an internal definition. It is something we can only achieve by hard work, by patience, by thought and by pushing ourselves to the limit of oneself.
Success when determined by others will always .. ALWAYS … lead to failure. Success in the mindset of competition against others is a scarce commodity. I choose not to live in that world.
I have been a competitor, a coach and a parent. I was taught that there will always be someone bigger, stronger, faster and smarter than you by “talent” base. However, the things under my control such as hard work, patience, sacrifice and passion are under my control. It is through this focus that I know I am a success … No one can take this away from me. No one can change that and it is 100 percent under my control.
In life there is no one that can stop you from being a success. There is no external measure that will make you a success. Control what matters to you! Decide what matters to you! Go get it - you will be a success.
I have many state championships on my record. I have many blue ribbons with a 1 on them. I have many top seller awards and many MVP trophies. The one that means the most to me is a brick. It was given in a year I didn’t “win” the title. It was on paper a season in which my team finished 3rd but we over achieved. The coach, Mr Rohlf, made a trophy because we hadn’t won a trophy from the league. I still have that brick - it means something to me. That team was one of the best teams I was a part of. We over achieved. We learned, we grew and we worked hard. We were the brickheads and we earned that brick. Your attitude of scarcity will not and can not take that away from me. Your attitude does not define my success.
Give a trophy to everyone that worked hard - who grinded away - that developed a new skill because success is not about beating someone else. Success is about self. Success is internal. Success should be celebrated no matter the score.