Set Only Intrinsic Goals

During the most recent Olympic games, there was an athlete who really interested me.

He came in second in his event, and he stood on the lower platform of the awards stand to receive his Silver Medal. His gaze was cast downward, as he reached up to wipe away a tear from his eye. After the ceremony, he stepped down quickly, took off his medal and walked away, never once looking up.

Now, here was a man who was the second best in the world of his sport, hanging his head in shame because he wasn't the champion.

Today's success-oriented society has duped so many of us into believing that being Number One is the only important thing in life. Losers of the Super Bowl often feel more depressed than members of teams that never even got that far. And, of course, the Miss Universe contest is designed to flatter the winner and insult every other woman on earth. But what does this emphasis on winning say to the kid who can't quite keep up?

You know, the one who does his very best just to be average. Well, my friend Jerry Jenkins has some very good advice for all of us. He said, "Set only intrinsic goals, those that come from within, especially for your children. Help them become the best that they can be in their pursuits and then make it clear that their best is good enough." I like that. It brings a healthy perspective to our personal ambition.

With that balanced approach to life's challenges, there never need be a loser.

With Focus on the Family, I'm Dr. James Dobson.

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