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scotty pippen
dennis rodman
dallas mavericks
old adage
michael jordan
professional athletes
better person
character building
Lessons Learned With 2nd Place
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Lessons Learned With 2nd Place

Everyone likes to look back on good memories, like their first date or their first car or the time they won the championship at a sporting event. We are able to romanticize the good things that happened to us back then, as if they were the most significant events in our lives. What about the events that really shaped our lives? Yes, I am talking about the time we lost the championship or when the girl or boy that we really liked rejected us. Those "valleys" had a lot more to do with character building than the good times. The good times are merely the result of all the hard or bad times we had to endure in order to get to the top. Many professional athletes will tell you that coming in 2nd place is worse than coming in last, because it is more heartbreaking. Coming in 2nd place teaches you at least 3 life lessons.

Firstly, coming in 2nd gets you off your "high horse", that is, if you were ever on one. Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the best basketball player of all time, couldn't get by the mighty Celtics his first 5-6 years. He learned that even he couldn't win by himself, and that he needed great teammates around him in order to win a championship. They drafted Scotty Pippen, later picked up Dennis Rodman and made other moves that led to their dynasty. Once you are off your "high horse", you are able to be a better teammate and a better person. Nobody likes an arrogant winner, but that is exactly what you get when you never taste defeat. The Miami Heat tasted 2nd place to the Dallas Mavericks 3 years ago, and there is no doubt that it fueled their last 2 championships.

Secondly, the old adage, " The one who dies with the most toys wins", is not true. Nobody wins all the time. It is just a matter of fact and if you learn that, you will learn how to act when you don't win. If you look at the picture that accompanies this article, you will see a pretty happy bunch of 2nd place finishers. These kids actually won their division championship 2 years in a row, but in this particular tournament, they finished in 2nd place, thus the reason they are holding up the number 2 sign as they are grinning with their trophies. They went home and played video games afterwards just like they did when they accepted the division championship trophy.

Thirdly, exercise is exercise, however you can get it. Team sports make it more fun for some, while others like the solitude of running a 10k. Either way, you work up a sweat and do your body good. If a kid learns the benefits of exercise when they are young, they are more likely to appreciate it's benefits when they are older.

Second place isn't the worst place in the world. I look at this picture from time to time and think that was a great time in life.


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