Why You Need To Be In 2nd Place

I spent last week up in the beautiful mountains of Flagstaff, Arizona. It was a real treat to get out of the heat, enjoy the pine air, and watch my 15 year old daughter and her horse as they prepared and participated in two 3 Day Events. As a mom, of course I want my girl to win! I stand there on pins and needles as she ventures out into the woods galloping and jumping over obstacles. It is an adrenalin rush for both the rider and the parent anxiously awaiting the first sighting as they come back out of the woods.

Ari did great. I was so proud of her – this was only her second event with her new horse and I was impressed with how hard she had worked to be ready. Her first event she actually got the 2nd place ribbon and at her second event, she claimed 3rd. Sure it must be great to claim 1st place, but I have to say, I was actually glad she didn’t win this early in the game.

Why do I think 2nd place is a good thing?

It is a necessity – for all of us. Anyone who wants to do big things in their life should experience the hardships of coming in after the winner. If we all won big our first time in the game, then the victory would never taste as sweet, nor would it give us anything to strive for. Where would we go if we claimed first place right away? The only place to go from the top is down.

So call me crazy, I am a fan of taking my time to the finish line.

You simply must have something to fight for, to learn about, to push yourself harder towards.

Arianna With Her Second and Third Place Ribbons

Be grateful for the challenges that come your way. The obstacles that keep you from rising to the top quickly are the same obstacles that make your better, stronger, more resilient and adaptable. Keep working each and every day and don’t let the races lost be for nothing. You deserve the hard earned finish line.

Do I want to watch my daughter claim that 1st place ribbon one day? Of course. But I’m glad it didn’t come this week. I want to see her continue to work hard, become better and have that elusive goal, until one day, when the time is right, her moment will be there and it will have been worth the wait. Yours will be too.

“The way we see the problem is the problem”
Steven Covey

Bossy Redhead OUT!

Michelle DeMarco
THE Bossy Redhead
Michelle DeMarco | The Bossy Redhead
michelle@michelledemarco.net

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Comments

  1. There is nothing that will make you want to be in first place like coming in second! It will light that fire for sure!

  2. Hi Michelle,

    First of all please congratulate Ari for me. Wow… what an achievement. This reminds me of what Tony Robbins always talk about – Progress. If you make progress in whatever you do you are a winner.

    Damayanthi

  3. Totally agree, but always hard to be patient with it, lol! Congrats to her, too!

  4. “You simply must have something to fight for, to learn about, to push yourself harder towards.” So so true for a truly joyous life. Thanks Michelle

  5. Couldn’t agree with you more – we’d learn nothing if it were so easy to get it all on the first attempts! Very proud of Ari – and you too, very supportive Mom made it all possible as well.

  6. Absolutely agree with you, Michelle.. Coming in second creates more drive, motivation, and determination! Never thought about it til reading your post.. Thanks for the perspective =)

  7. Michelle,

    Love this analogy. For 4 years I watched my son wrestle day in and day out. Every weekend, traveling and sitting in a gym for 8 hours. His success was gradual and then always so close to the best.

    Senior year of high school…last tournament of the season…last day of wrestling for HS team..went 5 and 0 (won all 5 matches that day in his weight class) took MVP most valuable player for that tournament. tears were flowing..would never be the same if won everything just from the start…

    proud mama!

    Ginny

  8. What a gorgeous area to be horseback riding in! I remember driving through Flagstaff and thinking how much it felt like NW Montana, which to me, is the most beautiful state!

    Michelle, what a great lesson to learn together with your daughter and to share with us! Your daughter is very lucky to hear your perspective. Winning 2nd place is quite an achievement!

    I especially like what you said here, “Be grateful for the challenges that come your way. The obstacles that keep you from rising to the top quickly are the same obstacles that make your better, stronger, more resilient and adaptable.”

    It’s a great reminder and an awesome article – thanks!

  9. Michelle, congratulations to your daughter. What a ride! To have worked so hard to get her horse ready for the event shows true commitment. How right you are that we need to learn and grow from the journey along the way.

  10. I love this message! The journey to our goal holds so much value when you take the time to be pay attention! Thanks for sharing your insights on this…it provides a whole new perspective to 2nd place!

  11. Nice post Michelle.
    I think it’s important to understand that failure is simply deferred success.

    To Everyone’s failure (I mean Deferred Success)

  12. Michelle please congratulate Ari for me too. And I agree with you -”Be grateful for the challenges that come your way.The obstacles that keep you from rising to the top quickly are the same obstacles that make your better, stronger, more resilient and adaptable.” Great post.

  13. Michelle, this is one of the things that concerns me about the trend today to remove competitiveness from the school and from early sports: children will have no way to measure their own progress. We do grow through striving … through addressing and overcoming challenges. Granted, there will be winners and losers, as there are in real life. Congratulations on preparing your daughter to be one who will excel in life … because she understands what it takes and knows that it’s doable!

  14. WHat a wise mom you are. How fortunate your sweet daughter is. She will truly understand and be able to enjoy her accomplishments with you there by her side.

  15. Great Article, Michelle!

    You do have a point. Sometime when we go to the top too fast, we sometime can begin to believe our own press and start to slack off! But when we experience the challenges along the journey and develop a testimony we appreciate the WINs a lot more. Thanks for sharing!

    To Your Infinite Success,

    Marquel Russell

  16. “If we all won big our first time in the game, then the victory would never taste as sweet, nor would it give us anything to strive for.” ~ so true! Love it!

  17. I agree that by having somewhere to go up is very motivating. If you find success right off the bat, you may not know how to handle a curve ball that life will eventually send your way. Life is funny it will prepare you through the trials and tribulation it puts your path.

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