The psychology of a narrow win: Is it good enough?

With the national elections being featured day in and day out on our news outlets, one can not help but think about winning. What does it take to win? What does it mean to give it your all? What does it mean to pick a winner?  Now, with the Upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, one can’t hep but think of what gold versus silver means to the psyche and national ego.  Coming in second is more devastating than coming in third. Being so close to winning can just make one sink into a deep depression if you don’t adjust yourself mentally.


I, myself, have been thinking about the concept of winning. My thoughts have not focused on winning but winning by how much. I have gotten certain victories this past year that have been narrow victories. They have been hard-fought and, at times, left me winded. A victory is a victory, right? But when you know it is narrow, there is a bigger sense of accomplishment, sometimes.  At times, I wondered why did I have to have a narrow victory. It didn’t make sense when I thought my idea was, of course, the best one. A narrow victory, in that sense, can be frustrating. I have heard some pundits say something similar of Hilary Clinton’s campaign. Many wonder how it is that someone who is supposedly so qualified in such a narrow contest with her opponent who is a newcomer.  I get that feeling and that sense of annoyance.

I also understand how it feels to savor that narrow victory. I understand how it feels to stage a comeback.

 The human race is intoxicated with narrow victories, for life is a string of them like pearls that hit the floor when the rope breaks, and roll away in perfection and anarchy. –Mark Helprin

A narrow victory can truly feel intoxicating. One can get a strong sense of euphoria. When I visited the Howick Falls, recently, in South Africa.  Because the Falls are near the Mandela Capture Site, I think I expected the falls to be majorly grand. I was a bit disappointed to see them up close because the falls were so narrow in width. I had to check myself. I had to remind myself of the beauty of the falls regardless of its narrow size. I had to remind myself of where I was and the fact that I had a chance to see them with my son who is still a young boy. These narrow waterfalls will still loom large in his memory.
South Africa_july 22 2016_mandela tour 290



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