I am a lousy Words With Friends player (it’s basically an online scrabble app). No matter how hard I try, I find it very difficult to beat my Husband. He routinely beats me by very wide margins, which annoys me because my vocabulary is probably a million times larger than his. I actually figured out why he beats me, but I thought the whole concept itself was so interesting that it will be another blog. The focus for today is never giving up.
No matter how far ahead my Husband is, I will never quit a game. Ever. I must play out the game until the last tile rears it’s ugly head in someone’s deck. I’m always looking for a way to win. Some would call this behavior stubborn: they would consider it a negative trait, because sometimes you have to just let it go. People think that when everything is against you it is time to quit, because what’s the point of playing, or doing anything, if you won’t win?
Obviously, I don’t call this behavior stubborn. I call it persistent, tenacious, determined, strong-willed, tireless, resolute…I can go on and on with synonyms for this trait. The ability to keep fighting, to believe in yourself- it’s actually a pretty good trait. If you read about trailblazers, people who are successful in their field, they all share this particular trait. They all share this particular need to play out the game.
My daughter has this trait. She is the most determined person I’ve ever seen. She never gives up, even when she actually loses. After a loss she immediately begins to think about how she could do better, what her errors were, how to anticipate things better, what were the clues that she missed…She really doesn’t consider something a “loss”- she thinks of it as a learning experience. She’s constantly retraining her brain.
My Husband- well, he doesn’t love this trait in my daughter or me. I think he would rather have us let things go, because living with two determined people is a lot to handle. Determined people often appear pushy, or nosy or annoying. And I guess we are- because we are always pushing and redefining boundaries. We are always challenging and questioning ourselves. We are constantly trying things again and again, not because we can’t deal with losing, but because we have to figure out the why and the how. Our desire is greater that a W in the column: our desire is in the knowledge.
So the next time someone you know reminds you of a yappy terrier, just remember that tenacity is a good trait, and this person is not trying to be annoying, they’re just trying to learn.