You Never Have to ‘Lose’

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under blog

Mark O. Haroldsen - Channel 4 interview

Local TV news covered our match and gave me some camera time.

Last month I had the chance to play a very special doubles tennis match with Governor Gary Herbert of Utah. I had my partner, Judge Andrew Valdez, and the governor had Jeff Robbins of the Utah Sports Commission (who also played the pro tour for a while!). It was very close but, in the end, the governor and Robbins beat us. Still, there were no losers that day. First of all, the match itself had been a dream of mine. Not only that but the wager was that if the governor won, I would donate $5000 to the Granite Education Foundation, an organization that supports Utah schools and Utah kids. So when the last volley ended, I was as elated as anyone because the kids were the big winners and I could celebrate for them.

Mark O. Haroldsen with Governor Herbert

 Doubles Match (l to r) Me Mark O. Haroldsen (with a check for the Granite Education Foundation), Judge Andrew Valdez, Governor Gary Herbert, and Jeff Robbins.

I wish that we could all look at the events in our lives and think about the wins not the losses. In the tennis match, the governor won the game, the kids supported by the foundation won additional funding, I achieved a dream, and players and spectators alike were uplifted by the exciting event and the philanthropic theme of the day. We didn’t win the game but there was no way I could look at the day and say we lost.

This positive outlook is something I call a “God’s Eye View.” It’s a way of seeing things from the perspective of humanity as a whole. It means believing that someone, somewhere, is getting joy and/or some kind of enhancement in his or her life even when you are not, and you can be happy and rejoice in the moment for them. Living this way, never being concerned about what you didn’t win, what you did not personally get, makes you a happier person. And that in itself is quite a win.

I talk about this “God’s Eye View,” at length in Chapter Twelve of my book, “How to Ignite Your Passion for Living.” It is intertwined with thoughts on the many benefits of giving which is also part of the “God’s Eye View” and something I try to do on a regular basis. In fact, the flip side of that tennis wager was that if I won, the foundation would get only $4900. Because if I had won the game and the kids lost the donation, my dream to play with the governor would have been a rather empty achievement. The best goals are ones that not only fulfill your dreams, but allow you to give back in some way as well. What they want. And there is no reason why you can’t be one of them.

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