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  • Writer's pictureJason Bankston


I wanted to take this opportunity to write something more personal today. It is also a chance to update you on my two sons and the previous blogs about them. Read them here if you missed it: GOAL SETTING—WHAT’S YOURS? and HUNGRY JACK?

Cody did win his one game. His goal was to win one game and contribute to his team in any possible way to make that happen. It was the last game of the season. Those kids played their little hearts out. It was a proud moment as a parent to see the reward of the hard work they put in. As parents, we want the best for our kids. Their perception as a team was they were winners. Their season was complete! Record 1 win and 5 losses.

As for Cooper, he reached his goal of running a 12:20 two mile and going to the Junior Olympics. He actually ran a 12:02 on his last race before the Junior Olympics! The Junior Olympics was this past Saturday and from my perspective, as a parent, he did well. I was so proud.

As for his expectations, he was not satisfied at all. He was heartbroken and disappointed. He finished 176 out of 398 runners and posted a time of 11:16. This was a significant improvement over last year's time of 12:47. He trained hard for this race and he had his heart set on finishing in the top 25.

The point of the story is perception. Cooper's perception was he was a failure. Cody's perception was he was a winner. Mine was, I was extremely proud and thought they both did exceptional. How is it people can feel differently about the same outcomes? It is all about perception. It is what we perceive it to be.

Cooper perceived it as a failure because he did not reach his full expectations. I perceived it as a great accomplishment to be in the top 40% of the best runners in the country.

Cody perceived his as a success because they won a game. Most would have perceived that season as a failure and been disappointed. Those kids did not look at it as a whole season but one game at a time.

Our successes should not be determined on what others think them to be. Our success is determined by us. Take Cody for example. If he thought like most of us, he would likely have thought of the season as a failure. Instead, he looked at the one game and all the hard work his team did and considered it a winning season. If we think positive instead of negative, it will reflect in our outcomes. If you think you are successful then you will be successful. It will take hard work. After, talking with Cooper he changed his perception of his race's outcome. He looked at it from a different angle. This made him hungrier though.

He got home Sunday, and Monday we are at the pool swimming. He is already planning his training and his goals for next year. Cody is swimming too! He is trying to get better and learn new things. Their perception has not changed it just moved. To next year! So when you think you are out of the game or down a little on your success, look at it from a different perspective. Find the positives from where you are, but stay hungry. Keep working, keep moving forward, and keep setting new goals!

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