Number ONE? Who Won?


Society takes a strong stand on the importance of rating Number One.  It can also look like first choice, the favourite, the winner, pick of the litter, premium, elite, or first class.

With the pressure of being in one of these categories, comes with a lot of stress to maintain that status.

Do we put so much emphasis on winning that we have forgotten about more important attributes like respect, fair play, compassion, empathy and teamwork?

There are many arenas where a healthy level of competition is a good benchmark for measuring personal achievement but like many things in today’s society, I believe we are out of balance.

Where does this all derive from? I believe it is a scarcity mentality, driven from a fear that pushes people to act on an individual accomplishment model to receive external accolades.

If we have a belief in scarcity there will never be enough; food, resources, available men or women, business leads, and love to go around, which will cause us to hoard, accept less than, not share our knowledge or promote other people’s businesses and primarily work from a fear based agenda.

It equates to a fear of not enough and not being enough. If we have a belief that we are not enough we will continue to over consume, over spend, over achieve, over eat, or over indulge because there is a void that can’t be satiated by external means.

As a junior sports coach, I place so much emphasis on teaching skills so the kids have a positive experience regardless of the scoreboard.  More importantly, I emphasise that this is a team game and no ONE player carries the team.  Everyone has to play a part for it all to work.

What does it mean to win?  For another party to lose?  What if that party is a loved one?  Is the victory still sweet if your loved one feels like a loser? Was it really worth being ‘right’ to see the defeated face of someone you hold dear?

At the end of the day we all came in the same way and we will all leave the same way and what happens in between is purely our own experience and responsibility without judgement or comparisons to another.

It’s interesting to note that the number ONE is only the next number on from ZERO.  So does this mean you are just a slight step up from nothing or zilch?

Or again, is this just an interpretation?  Having zero money versus zero pain?  It can all be relative to different perspectives.

Being first choice, someone’s number one, the favourite, can certainly cause many rifts in relationships depending on our interpretation of this.  If we have a scarcity mentality, then not being anybody’s number one can feel very isolating.

Acceptance and acknowledgement is the number one need in all human beings and if that is threatened then this basic survival need can feel very overwhelming.

Very few people have escaped the feeling that they are not good enough at some stage of their life.  Some may choose to express it as being an overachiever, whilst others will give into those beliefs and make them a reality.

The bottom line is no one can make us feel that acceptance, nor is it their job. Just as no trophy, gold medal, blue ribbon, diploma, fancy house, car, or makeover can satisfy that need.

Instead of feeling that we have to fight for acceptance and acknowledgment it is worth remembering this quote:

Only love can be divided endlessly and still not diminish

Anne Morrow Lindbergh



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