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Winners and losers

In jos

Winners and losers

Mesaj  Admin la data de Joi Iun 04, 2009 11:02 pm

June 2, 2009

Up here in Canada, some people think the government should be regulating the names we pick for our kids. It has come to their attention that oddball names may have a detrimental effect on proper development. There was a case, for example, where a couple named their firstborn "Loser." Loser was followed by another boy they named "Winner." Funnily, it was Winner who grew up to be a beer-drinking layabout, and Loser is currently, by all reports, making big bucks as a stockbroker.

Then there's the case of Benson W. Hedges III. With both dad and grandpa oozing success from every pore, little Benny felt so much pressure that he smoked his lungs out.

Winning in our game can mean jumping on the daily carousel of satisfaction, regular trips to the bank, or both.

I've spent a lifetime just trying to figure out what it is that makes artists winners. Raw talent counts, but it certainly isn't everything. Hard work and quality art are right up there, but there are other factors.

One of them is the ability to develop parallel human relationships--finding and featuring others with complementary personalities and who are equally passionate. These are the folks we need to hook up with. Because our precious creative egos hang so closely to our art, it can be difficult for some to let go, join in the fray, and truly share. "Winners," says Joe Blodgett, "have friends."

Then there's the "stripe factor." Skunks can change their stripes. Every winner I've ever known was capable of change. They knew they could change. They knew they could get better. They became students of their own processes. To do otherwise was just too hard to take.

It doesn't matter what your name is. Up here in Canada we have a bunch of winning artists whose name is Smith: Gordon Smith, Betty Smith, Keith Smith, etc. Then there's the case of Larry Bracegirdle. A lot of people want to get a Bracegirdle. Larry, like the others, is dedicated to the daily play of process. "Things won are done, joy's soul lies in the doing." (William Shakespeare)

Best regards,


PS: "In order to win, we pay with energy and effort and discipline. If we lose, we pay in disappointment, discontent, and lack of fulfillment." (Maya Angelou)

Esoterica: When I was in art school, there was a kid who was at first so bad, everybody snickered. After graduation he soon became art director of one of the world's largest ad agencies. I've noticed the same phenomenon in workshops. Some hopeless beginner will come in, fight the frustration, and emerge looking pretty good. It's not just their attitude that changes. They begin to see how facility and a sense of purpose go hand in hand. They don't even have to change their names. "When it comes to winning, you need the skill and the will." (Frank Tyger)


Current clickback: Stereotype-threat shows how accepted stereotypes can become self-fulfilling prophesies. There are also illustrated reader responses and live comments.

Read this letter online and feel free to make your own comments on winning and losing. Opinions, observations and further insight are always welcome at


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