It’s important to win every day.
I hope that opening line grabbed you. I’m going to assume it did.
That’s a win for me.
Typically when you hear the term “moral victory”, you picture athletically challenged kids–nerds–and you picture them getting participation trophies. “Everybody-wins” probably also comes to mind. You think “moral victory” as a blanket for defeat.
In sports, this is true; completely. It was a term coined by parents whose children lacked athletic talent. Their kids were the ones who ate the orange slices but you knew they didn’t really deserve em’. They kind of pissed you off. You felt bad about it, because the kids were seven, but you still low-key hated a few… Your son’s team got beat because little Timmy was dry-humping flowers in Left-Field instead of making routine plays. He tried to give you a hug after the game and you stiff armed him. Timmy walked over and hugged his dad, in khackis, who told him “the scoreboard isn’t all that matters, son.” Timmy beamed at his dad’s affection. You simmered.
I feel that way too. Regarding sports.
In life, though, especially as a young adult, it is important to find your win each day. Moral victories are good things in these instances. Winning denotes growth. Growth, essentially, is what we’re all chasing. If you are working to improve, both your mind and body, you are growing. Staying the same, or regressing, are states devoid of growth. That sucks.
Your growth can be measured both objectively and subjectively. It doesn’t matter. Objectvely, for example, you did more pull-ups today than you did yesterday–that’s a win. Subjectively, you felt like shit when you woke up, because you party, but you found your resolve and still made it a productive day–another win. How you win and what you do isn’t what is important. The merit of the victory lies with your mindset and mind state. If you are monitoring yourself, committed to your growth, your wins are tangible to you. They are your motivation. The same way little Timmy needed to hear affirmation from his dad–because he was brutal–you need to know that you are growing. Knowing that you achieved something in your day, pertinent to your growth as a person, is a commitment to your best self. Wins add up. You need them daily.
I kept track of my wins from this past week in a journal. I am committed to the growth of mind, the cultivation of my emotional intelligence, and the improvement of my below average body. My wins reflect those values.
I was still hurting from the harsh words I received last week. My neighbor, a small, delicate looking Korean woman, berated me. She screamed and pointed and screamed. I didn’t realize at the time, but I had completely disregarded the apartment complexes recycling process. I dumped my trash bin and the entirety of its contents into the most adjacent depository. My neighbor didn’t like that.
So, today, I walked to Homeplus and bought sink-gloves. I brought my trash down to the aforementioned depository and I put on my gloves. I took each item of trash, individually, and placed it in its respective, and appropriate, bin. My neighbor wasn’t there and I don’t think she saw… But I knew. It was the right thing to do and it was the thing a good person would do. I slam dunked an empty milk carton, for the win.
Today I went to Yeungam University. It is one subway station away. I disregarded the transit system and I walked. I also brought a basketball. Not only did I walk the full two miles, but I put on a show for some college kids. I was certain they hadn’t seen a combo guard like me before, both in terms of ethnicity and handle, so I let em see me move the rock. I stayed on campus for over three hours. I walked and dribbled everywhere. As it got dark, and I prepared to return, again I disregarded the subway. I walked back. It took an extra thirty minutes; result of actual distance and a thorough triple threat demonstration to an intrigued farmer.
I exceeded expectations and I ventured to an area–in a foreign country–I had not yet been. I relished the moment. I also improved my handle. Many walkways are dirt or unkempt gravel. Wins.
For the past year I have made meditation a personal priority. As someone with a wandering mind, it has been difficult. Typically I cannot sit for more than five minutes without thinking of my friend Abby naked. Today I sat for over thirty, calm in my mind and free of distraction. I experienced the deepest clarity I have felt before. This is no discredit to Abby, but more a testament to persistent practice (win).
There is a park next to my apartment complex that has a running track and several aerobic fixtures. One of the fixtures is a hanging bar used for pull-ups and chin ups. I have bad shoulders and my chest would most aptly be described as concave. Pull-ups are a challenge for me. But, to fix said faulty shoulders and become more appealing to tan girls I like, I need to do them. I need to get good at them and build strength. Today, my goal was thirty. That may not seem like much to you, if you are fit, but it’s a mountain to me. So, I created a rule that would both aid and make me better. For every set of pull-ups I did that was less than or equal to 5, I had to run a lap. My sets looked something like this: 7, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, 3–31 total. I ran, aggressively paced, 7 laps and did 31 pull-ups. That was a banner of personal growth. The win came in both goal accomplishment and shirtless selfie I sent to aforementioned tan girls.
I’m in Daegu, South Korea, where minimal English is spoken and Korean is the obvious official language. This is an amazing opportunity for cultural assimilation and understanding. As someone who prides themselves on intellectual and human growth, I’ve committed myself to learn a new language. Today, on DuoLingo, I completed my present tense conjugation and am now 24 percent fluent in Spanish.
At about noon I went outside with a notebook, two reading books, and a bottle of water. I snuck four Oreos in my bag. That was it. I didn’t bring my phone or computer. I was outside for over four hours, turned off from the outside world.
Immediately, I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking. I would think it too if the shoe was on the other foot.
Wow, Beau, you sat outside and took a nap because you don’t have any responsibilities.
Harsh, but fair. I know you thought that. I know my mom did.
The purpose of daily wins are to make them relative to you. I’m overseas with a unique opportunity to experience and improve. For me, becoming a better writer and a more concentrated person are big goals. Refraining from any type of communication or distraction, focusing solely on reading and writing, for four hours, is a win for me.
Today was a day of multiple wins… Twice. I had two wins.
First, I went to a Korean movie theatre, by myself, and saw Beauty and the Beast. It was my second time seeing it but the first time a Korean speaking friend purchased the ticket for me. Today, I walked to the theatre and went it alone. The movie times and titles are in Korean. Using my budding knowledge of the Hanguel (Korean alphabet), I was able to frenetically sound out Beauty and the Beast. I was also able to pick the correct time and even deduce what theatre number the film was showing. There were no pictures. Just me, my focused mind, and a friendly Korean family of four who shared their popcorn.
The second win came on a much more domestic front. And I mean domestic in terms of homely qualities. Basically, I hadn’t been doing a great job with laundry. It was my fault. There were creases in the clothes when I folded them and I didn’t always use fabric softener. That’s not ok. Today I created the new standard of folding–specific to the article of clothing–that I will adhere for as long as I’m doing my laundry (single).