Just about everyone in the world knows by now that there was no Triple Crown winner this year with California Chrome coming in 4th place at the Belmont Stakes in New York over this past weekend. Hearing the hype and reading the stories that followed the other two races with California Chrome winning in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness got me caught up in a world I don’t really pay that much attention to otherwise. Neither do you. And everyone loves the Cinderella story — the one where the down-and-out, long-shot investment pays off. We all love these kind of stories. Why? Because we fall in love with the struggle. We get behind someone who no one believed in before. But, after it was all said and done, California Chrome came up short. And although we were all disappointed in that, I think I was more disappointed in his owners, not in the horse not winning. Why am I disappointed in the owners? Because they made excuses. They saw the 4th place finish as a loss. They forgot what brought them there in the first place. They neglected to see the big picture.
A few years ago, I learned the hard way about perspective and have two memories that are constant reminders to me when I have to change the way I see a particular situation. No one ever wants to learn anything the hard way, but that is where the biggest lessons are — the ones we keep. In 2010, I pledged to lose 30 pounds within a six month period, mostly by running five miles a day, five days a week. As October 1st approached, I was very concerned about meeting my goal. That was my triple crown. However, I was more concerned about the failure I would feel if I did not meet my goal than of what I did accomplish. I remember being asked if not losing 2 pounds negated the 28 other pounds that I had lost. That’s when I knew. Okay…I didn’t immediately know, because I originally saw not meeting my goal as a loss…as a failure. But then, I saw the bigger picture…I saw what I had done and that I should be proud of that instead of what I didn’t do. (Side note: I lost 31 pounds.)
We all forget to stop and take a look back at what we did because we focus on what we didn’t do. We need to take off the blinders (pun intended) and see more…look at things from a different angle…and find the positive. The owners still made millions of dollars after a $10,000 investment and California Chrome still made history. Not Triple Crown history, but just the same. Stop, take a look around and say, “What am I missing?” Go back to where you started and see how many steps brought you to this moment. Every one of them was important in getting you where you are right now. What do you see and can you look at something differently? In case you were wondering, perspective will always bring you down the home stretch and no matter where you finish, you will always be able to turn around and smile when you see just how far you have come.
What do you see? Find the positive, even in failure.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©