Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Columns

Winning is not necessarily the aim of the game


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Upon recapturing the pinnacle of Golfdom, Tiger Woods recently proclaimed that “winning takes care of everything.”

While confessing that my own best score on the links was never lower than my then-current weight, I presume to differ with his widely accepted opinion on this subject.

The following is excerpted from a 1992 opusette appearing in the “Like Klockwork” collection, a few copies of which are still available for purchase: One of my few claims to fame is the invention of a word that is familiar to at least  some folks on all the reasonably habitable continents.

The word is “maximence,” and it is the central theme of a philosophy that I have promoted for many years in seminars, articles and recordings.

I invented the word after observing that the world around me had become preoccupied with excellence - i.e., being number one, beating the other guy, winning at all costs, etc.

Maximence doesn’t mean being as beautiful as a movie queen, as powerful as a Latin dictator, as rich as the Emir of Kuwait or as charismatic as Geraldo (just kidding!).

It also doesn’t mean measuring yourself against peers or the wunderkinder in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Maximence doesn’t mean being all that you can be (as in the Army ads), but being all that you can be that you want to be.

It doesn’t mean that winning is everything or that it is the only thing.

Rather, it means doing your best at things that are important to you. It means closing - or minimizing - the gap between your performance and your potential as you see bith of them.

Someone very wise once said, “There’s nothing noble in being superior to another person. The true nobility is being superior to your previous self.”

Translated to real-world terms, it means that you have no competition in all the world except yourself as you are, or as you were; and that the only truly motivating goal to which you can aspire is you as you choose to be in the future.

The first step toward maximence is forgiving yourself, unconditionally, for not being perfect and/or better than the other guy; i.e., praising yourself, admiring yourself, feeling good about yourself because of who you are and what you are right now.

Maximence demands only that you objectively measure the gap between your performance in areas of your life that are important to you and your potential in those same areas.

This has nothing to do with the judgment of your friends, family, peers, mentors and critics. Yours is the only judgment that counts.

The failure to be perfect does not mean you’re not a success.”

And the fact that you’re better than anyone else in a given pursuit doesn’t mean that you  are a success unless you know that you gave it your best shot.

How might all this jazz up a relatively “ordinary” life?

At the end of every day, just ask yourself one simple question: “Did I do my best today in every aspect of my life, both business and personal?”

If the answer is yes, even if the scoreboard is blank, and somebody else walked off with all the marbles, you’ve achieved maximence; and, in doing so, you have reached the highest level of human achievement.

After you’ve given it everything you’ve got, whether you are then leader or follower, rich or poor, gifted or a certifiable slug, you have reached a height unsurpassed (and unsurpassable) by anyone else in the world, including the guy who kicked sand in your face on the beach or the girl who beat you out for the cheerleading team. Perhaps even including Clark Kent and Wonder Woman!

Maybe on that particular day you didn’t have the silver tongue, the brilliant inspiration, the Midas touch or the luck of the Irish. It might have been the most forgettable day of your life; but if you gave it all you had, that’s maximence! And nobody else did one bit better. Nobody!

A by-product of the maximence philosophy is lifelong happiness and peace of mind, because there’s no longer a place in your world for guilt, regrets, envy, disappointment, self-deprecation or senseless worry.

You can choose to lead a happier life by simply shooting for maximence instead of other more fragile, less attainable goals, such as excellence and/or superiority over others.

So there, Tiger....put that in your golf bag and swing it!


Freelance wordworker Joe Klock, Sr. (joeklock@aol.com) winters in Key Largo and Coral Gables, Florida and summers in New Hampshire.

  

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