Fight on because you can’t always get what you want

As a big USC fan, nothing makes me happier on a Saturday than when the Trojans get a big fat W.  Unfortunately, my boys are 1-3, so there hasn’t been much celebrating so far this season. My only consolation is that, at 2-2, UCLA hasn’t started out that great either. When I recognize that the Bruins’ losses somehow make me feel better, I have to ask myself: why?   

It truly makes no sense since their loss doesn’t change the fact that we lost, but for some reason it’s still nice knowing the Bruins are disappointed as well.

I guess this is basic human nature.  When you bomb a test, it’s easier to cope when most other kids bombed it, too. Misery really does love company.

However, one of the facts of life is that we aren’t always going to get what we want. Someone else gets the part you auditioned for, takes your starting spot on a team, or wins an award that you really wanted. You’re forced to watch from the sidelines as others succeed, and you’re left feeling like a failure.

What defines us isn’t our failures–everyone loses sometimes–it’s the way we react when we don’t get what we want that says the most about who we are. Do we really want to be the type of person who finds joy in the failures of others? Every time someone gets something that we wanted, we get the opportunity to choose whether we want to be jealous of their successes and attempt to bring them down, or if we want to be happy for them, cheer them on and hope when it’s our turn to come out on top we’ll get the same positive support.

Friendly competition at first glance seems like such a paradox. Although, when I think about it, friendly competition is the way we should be living our lives all the time. We should be going out into the world and trying our best to make the most out of every opportunity, but when we miss out on one, we should congratulate whoever got the win and move on to the next thing with a good attitude. I’ve realized that I really don’t need the negativity and pettiness that accompanies jealousy in my life, and I’ve found that being happy for others brightens their day as well as mine.

Being on Dance Team at NPHS has taught me how to survive in a competitive environment. Not only is my team competitive with other teams but we’re also very competitive amongst each other.

As dancers we all want to be front and center but the reality is that someone has to be in the back line. Sometimes it’s going to be me in the back and I’ve learned that it’s my job to dance the best I can in the spot I’m given, be happy that I get to perform, and support my teammates as they get a chance to be in the front.

I care about every member of my team and I want them to succeed. It’s my job to support them even when I don’t get what I want, and I can only hope that when it’s my turn they will support me too.

So I guess maybe the next time USC loses, instead of instantly changing the channel to passionately root for whatever team is playing UCLA, I’ll just turn the TV off and move on with my life.

Just kidding UCLA sucks.

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