A Different Measure of Success
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal coach, was asked in an interview by Martin Keown about where he keeps the medals he won throughout his coaching career. Wenger insisted he will judge his own career on a different criteria to many of his critics.
"Martin, I don't even know where they are. That tells you that I don't look back. Maybe one day I will regret this, but I would like to look back on my career and think more about the human side of it rather than the medals. You would like to think when I meet the former players I remember more what kind of people they were than what I won with them."
If my wife read this (which she will now), she will point the finger straight at me. She thinks I'm (slightly) crazy constantly encouraging my kids to bring me back medals, whether academic, sports or other extracurricular activities.
I'll tell them since your father cannot win any more medals, it's your turn to fill the trophy cabinet. In fact their grandmother sponsored two more cabinets to fill up with trophies.
And whenever they come home with silverware, I give them immunity from admonishment or nagging for one or two days.
Seriously though, I am really not medal crazy. I don't really keep my medals properly, and I may not even remember exactly what I've won. It counts for nothing. What is important though is the memories.
At the end of the day, people won't care whether you won something, but they will remember how you treated them, your behaviour, your effort, your class and your sincerity. Nobody cares about your trophy cabinet.
So why do I ask my kids to bring home trophies? Just that I think that by striving to succeed in something, you learn something valuable. You learn to cultivate a good work ethic and discipline.
The medals and trophies are a bonus. Makes the father proud but the benefit is in the process of striving to achieve or win...not in actually winning, and definitely not in receiving the medals.
My wife may not believe what I just wrote, but its true...:)
Photo from bbc.com