A great tournament in bicyclism is running. The fans are cheering, cameras rolling and everyone is following this big event.
A few cyclists got a great advantage, and were in front of others for a good half a mile. But, one among them was leading the race. Young, proud, strong, he thought nothing could stop him. He saw himself as a winner. This race was his chance to prove that he is something, that he can be someone and that he is able. By winning, he would get social proof, a thing that a lot of young people try to achieve for themselves.
He watches the road and knows: “I am the winner”, as the wind brisks against him. Suddenly, the feeling of wind is lost, and his whole world turns around. He is in shock. He has fallen to the ground. Time slows down for him, and his subconscious starts to nag. He is watching the road as his thoughts twirl around and wait for his instructions. He knows that he is going to lose. He knows that everyone has seen his fall. Decision is brought… he will quit. “What’s the point of winning, if I am not going to win?” he asked himself out loud.
The racers that were behind him started to pass him by. One by one, his defeat was evident, as they passed by him, not even turning back to look at him. They all passed, all but one. One raced stopped and stood beside him. He said: “I can help you get up, but that wouldn’t make you a better human being, and all eyes would be on me, helping the poor you, so I would be a fake hero. In short, I would feel like a hypocrite”. He sighed: “Anyway, I will help you by telling you something. You were born to fight as was everyone else on this planet. The mistakes are a normal thing, so don’t be ashamed of them, but learn from them. It doesn’t matter if you will win or not. It matters if you will make a difference. I told you this, so no matter in which place I end up, I know that I won by changing the life course of even one person to the better…bye”. As he rode off, the young cyclist jumped of the ground, mounted the bike and started pedaling like mad. He gave everything he had in that race.
You think he won? No, he ended in the fourth place, but he was remembered: Remembered as a boy who didn’t quit. His social proof was there, everyone cheered for him, but that day, he got something that is worth much, much more. He got a life lesson, that no matter what happens, if you give it your best, you will always be a winner. And in the next year’s race, he was.