I’ve been observing the very rare species of life called the teenager for over two decades now and I have learned that very few of them have the tenacity to expect to win. Even the super bright ones, the ones that excel at every subject and master everything they undertake are timid when it comes to their worth and what they can accomplish.

Is this something then that we are born with or is this kind of submissiveness something that has been taught and imprinted on our unconscious mind through schooling? I am out of my element here in terms of research and being able to back up my hypothesis, so instead I am just going to make an educated guess and I hope you treat it as such. I think we were taught to expect to lose. Or if the point of education isn’t to submit students to be average, normal, and serviceable, than at least it is to prepare them not to be disappointed by not aiming too high.

Thats why there is a class average. That’s why there is a provincial standard and a curriculum that someone, somewhere, deemed important for everyone to know. But how do they know everyone? What makes anyone think that any curriculum can fit a student when in fact it is the student, the human being, that should dictate the curriculum.

We think young people don’t know what they want or what they need, but to be quite honest, I don’t know what I want and what I need. Yes, I know a bunch of stuff and will not make similar mistakes like I did in my youth, but I continue to make mistakes, and I continue to learn each and every day because I don’t really know what I want. 

But there is one thing that I really want, as the Spice Girls said, really want, really, really want. I want to win. I expect myself to do my best and win. If I fail, I expect myself to understand why I failed and either quit because I am out of my element, or push again and again until I have broken through. That is what I want. That is what I have today, an expectation of winning. An expectation that is sadly missing in so many people today.

They think that expecting and wanting to win is somehow an egotistical and selfish notion. They have been bitten by a false sense of humility. Yes, I am not trivializing selfishness and evil which is very present in our world. What I am suggesting however is that we are afraid to win, and so we mask this fear in our resignation that we are not good enough, that it is not our turn, that we better let someone else do it, because they are better at it, they are more experienced, and they deserve it.

You should expect to win. 

Expect to win or don’t go on the adventure. Whats the sense of playing for the losing side? Not because you come to lose, but because before you even get started, you already expect to lose. And what do you think will happen if you think you’re going to have a terrible day or week? You’ll probably have a terrible day or week? 

Instead, what would your life look like and what would your reality be if everything you embraced and got involved in, you did it with a sprit of a champion? Your life would change and you would inspire so many people, with cast down eyes, to look up and imagine the possibilities as well.

There is only one way to be happy. Expect to be happy. Expect to win. Plan. Work hard. Fail over and over again, but don’t ever stop, until you have broken through to the other side. There is another song coming, I can feel it, so I better cut it short, or else you we’ll both get stuck together.


Cover photo generously provided by photographer Bill Wegener.