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Third Place for the Win!

I was looking for inspiration for this month’s blog and my wife showed me this picture. I laughed because it was so cute. I have no idea what sport or game these kids were playing, and it doesn’t matter. The look on the face of the kid on top of the podium as he looks over at the other kid who came third says “what are you so happy about, you came in third”. But the kid who came in third is ecstatic. He did his best and somebody beat him, but he is happy with his performance. He is in the moment and he has decided to embrace and enjoy his third-place finish. This is awesome.

There is almost always going to be somebody who has greater skill, is faster, has more money, a nicer car, a better job, or whatever. But if we get hung up on this stuff, we run the risk of taking on the attitude of a victim.

I am reminded of the song “Don’t worry, be happy” by Bobby McFerrin. The lyrics go:

“Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note

Don’t worry, be happy

In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double

Don’t worry, be happy”

This is a very simple message, and of course life is complicated, but it reminds us that we have a choice about the attitude we take to life’s events.

We can take a lesson from the “third place” kid in the photo.

He came third. He is happy!

Be happy,

Doug Dougherty

Image sourced from an Instagram post by Debra J. Wilson

One response to “Third Place for the Win!

  1. Great post Doug.
    Took me back to me real life moment when my 8 year old daughter taught me a similar lesson.
    She had placed 3rd in a downhill ski competition called JJO one year then 1st the next year, on the ride home she was very pleased called some friends and bordered on a bit cocky I thought, so doing the right parental thing I figured I interjected a bit and asked her finally so what are you going to do next year.
    She replied I’m going to get second, after asking why would you do that, who aims to be second.
    She said “that way I have the set” …. lesson learned by Dad that day and she has the set.

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