Faculty Column: Winners win

NPHS Social Studies teacher and dad, Bob McCreary looks at the Election of 2016

Israelis and Americans watch a live update of the US presidential election results at Mikes place bar in Jerusalem, Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)


Israelis and Americans watch a live update of the US presidential election results at Mike’s place bar in Jerusalem, Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Well, election day in America has come and gone.

From scandals and corruption to vulgar language and bad jokes, both major party candidates seem to have done more to prove that they should not be President.  But it’s the average American voter and most TV commentators that had me the most frustrated.

Listen to the voters interviewed on TV and you’d think the world was going to come to an end after the election.  I actually saw people cry on TV in a desperate attempt to convince people to vote for a specific candidate.  Their claim was that the other candidate will destroy America and any chance people have of obtaining the American dream.

My own kids (8, 10, and 12 years old) got in on it too.  During a recent car ride my kids heard one of the many political commercials.  My oldest said, “We are in big trouble if ___ is elected.”  What followed was Dad Lecture #361 I titled “Winners win.”  A paraphrased version of my lecture is as follows:

The candidates in our election were certainly not the best our country had to offer.  But do you know how much impact they should have on your ability to succeed?  ZERO!  Candidates want you to think that a vote for them will mean prosperity and happiness and a vote for their opponent will mean horrible effects for you and the country.  Their message is if you don’t vote for them, you cannot succeed.  That’s baloney.

Do you know what all winners in the world have in common?  They win!

It doesn’t matter if you are a baseball player, a dancer, a student, a businessperson, or any other person looking to succeed at something.  Winners don’t care who is in charge or what roadblocks are put in front of them.  They will win because they won’t stop until they do.  There are no roadblocks big enough for them to going through, go around, go over, or go under.  It may take more time but they will eventually do it.  That’s what makes them a winner.

Too many people think that in order for them to win, other people have to change.  They’ll say things like “I’d be so much better if my coach/ teacher / parent / boss / elected official was better.”  Those leaders can indeed help and may smooth out your path but they will NEVER prevent you from winning unless YOU let them.  If you think your success is dependent on external factors – anything outside your control – then you have already lost.

This is not to say people shouldn’t care about elections.  Elections are important and if “we the people” are in charge then it is up to us to pay attention and keep our elected officials in line.  However, if you think that they are in charge of your future, you have fallen right into their trap.

Winners win because they take responsibility for everything that happens to them.  If something goes bad, they fix it.  If they don’t know how then they ask around or figure it out themselves.  They don’t sit back and wait for their leaders to change a policy or make a law.  If their adjustment doesn’t work, they keep making adjustments until something does.  Then it’s on to the next challenge where they can win at that too.

Take that attitude about success and there is nothing you can’t achieve.  Follow the politicians’ messages and you will live in fear of all the things you think are out of your control.  And ultimately lose.

If I had seen my young kids’ faces as I was talking, I probably would have seen a few eye-rolls.

But hey, I’m the Dad and that’s what dads do.

Get to work.