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What Kind of Loser is Your Child?

You can tell a lot by how they win . . . and lose.

Dear Parents, Hopefully the title of this article got your attention!

I find one of the most effective ways to teach is through the use of stories. They can create vivid pictures and powerful emotional feelings. This should not be a surprise because story telling has always been one of the best ways to touch not only someone’s mind, but even more their heart.

So, here is a story. I wanted share a question I received from a teacher by email and my response (names changed):

“Sensei, I often read your tips and attempt to apply them to my classroom. I have a question. What suggestions do you have to help students cope with disappointment? We have a big contest coming up. Only 2 fourth graders will win. I'd like to be prepared with strategies to help those that don't win. Ms. Smith.”

Here is my response back to her:

“Great question Ms. Smith!

This can actually tie in nicely to the development of your student’s “Discipline Muscle” and the "Three Types of People" lesson I did for you and your students. It also ties into the humility and "I'm not better than anyone else, but no one is better than me!" lesson which you have not seen yet.

Here is how to apply it. Remember the Type Two people? They are the majority of people (50-85%) who “do just enough to get by”. This is the "rat race" where everybody is competing against each other for the same teams, colleges, jobs, friends, etc. People who are type two people live a life and in a world of scarcity. They believe there is not enough to go around so I better get mine first. They compete against each other. They have to cut each other down to survive let alone excel. This is where life is hard and a struggle. People in this group can't help but develop a “Fixed Mindset”. (They also often have a perfectionist mindset too). They believe people that succeed must have cheated or taken a short cut. It just is not fair! They believe people that succeed must have brains and talents they do not. Their response to failure and setbacks is to give up and quit.

Help your students understand they can choose to be Type Two or Type One people. It is a CHOICE. They can do so just by using the three steps of "Notice - Choose - Act" then just "choosing" the habits and mindset of Type One people. The "I always do a little bit more than anyone expects!" They do this by developing the habit of always doing the little things all the time and being a mind reader. Here only about 7% of the population lives. They don ot need to compete here. They actually help each other at this level. They know that there is more than enough to go around. They believe it is not a Zero-Sum game. They know they can make plenty more and the supply of success is unlimited. They have a Growth Mindset and an abundance mindset. When one person in this group rises, they all rise. There is plenty for everyone. "There is no competition at the top!"

Here is how you can tie all this into your classroom and with your students. Tell them they can use this contest to not only noticebut also practicebeing a Type One person.

Just start by helping them notice this: Type One people do something very different when they win and lose - They look and act exactly the same whether they win or lose!!!!!!!!!!

When they compete, you cannot tell if they won or lost just by looking at them! (BTW, I have a wonderful game to teach this). Instead, without boasting or celebrating, the Type One winner looks the loser in the eye and says "Okay, good on you. I won this time but keep pushing me. I am going to work even harder because I know that if I even blink you will beat me next time. You better give me your best because YOU make me better!" And the Type One loser, without getting upset or disappointed in losing, will look the winner in the eye and say "Nice job dude. You got me this time but you better watch out. I just learned far more from that loss than you will ever learn from your win. Thanks for teaching me. You better watch out because the next time I will beat you. I am hungry. I can out work you. Don't celebrate and get comfortable now. Thank you because make me better. Keep pushing me. Bring it on!"

They both win.

Here is another great way to tell if you’re a Type One person: How do you react when a peer, teammate or co-worker does better than you or gets praised over you? Do you get jealous, resentful, blame, criticize or make excuses? I think you know what a Type One person would do instead. So, which type of person are you becoming?

When we do in-house karate tournaments at our dojo we only give out one medal for the winner because the rest are losers! And that is good!

So, I think you should have only one winner! ;-)


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