There’s a question I started asking myself that put me in a better mood when playing and practicing. “If I know in advance that I’m going to lose every game I play today, will I still show up to play?”
Ask yourself. The answer says a lot about your attitude.
I know that I don’t really get excited about losing, so I’d be lying if my own answer was, “you betcha oh boy let’s go lose!!! (!)” I want to win and I get a bit down if I can’t; I’m pretty human about this. When I’m in my more balanced and zen moments though, I really don’t care about winning or losing because I’m too busy focusing on the game. Those are probably the times that give me the highest amount of satisfaction. If I just playing and enjoying the game is my goal regardless of outcome, then that means I always enjoy myself. It’s nice to be stable that way. Then later when you win you can get a double-shot of satisfaction (and that’s nice too).
I really like that question though. It keeps things in perspective to me. It tells me whether I’m doing something I love because I enjoy doing it, or whether I’m doing it for some other reason. It might be my self-promotion, it might be material gain. It gives me perspective on my own motives.
If you’re going to get last, do you still want to enter? If you’re going to make mistakes, do you still want to try? Do you still want to write even if you never publish, and do you want to practice even if you’ll never perform? Ask it. It’s a good question, probably my favorite.