There’s more to racing than winning


I picked this line from the very-famous animated movie ‘Cars’ [2006]. 

I find this movie to be technical masterpiece, a showcase of commitment, teamwork and a drive to excel.  To cite an example… the team at Pixar took almost 17 hours to create one frame of animation only to ensure the lustre and shine on the animated cars mirrors the real world cars, which it superbly does and those who have seen it would agree no less.  They wanted it to look real even though it was an animation – now how is that for commitment and drive to excel.  But there is one more thing which is so very important about this movie…the message around which it is centred, as seen in some of the dialogues in the movie.

‘There’s more to racing than winning’ and ‘…it’s only an empty cup’.

Now it is important to compete, so don’t get me wrong when I emphasize on the message above.  We need to read in between the letters here to understand the implied meaning.  While it is important to compete, work hard towards the goal, be aggressive and do whatever it takes to achieve it; but more importantly it’s about the ethics, the values we bear in ourselves and the very essence of our core – our guiding principles, either as individuals or as teams, which will set us different.  Yes, winning is important but what is more important is to win without compromising the ethics and principles, and put the values at the forefront.

I am sure those who saw this movie, never for once cheered for the winner of the final race.  Instead, they would’ve cheered for the act of the car, who was about to win the race hands down, pulling back inches close to the finish line, driving backwards to reach the car which met with the accident and pushing or rather nudging that car to the finish line. 

Wonder where this came from…well some part of it could be the scriptwriter’s imagination and the other inspired from this real life incident.

This happened during 1976 Special Olympics in Washington. 

Nine contestants, all physically or mentally disabled, assembled at the starting line for the 100 yard dash.   At the gun, they all started out, not exactly in a dash, but with a relish to run the race, to the finish, and win.  All, that is, except one little boy who stumbled on the asphalt, tumbled over, and began to cry.  The other eight heard the boy cry.  A couple of them slowed down and looked back.  Then they turned around and went back.  One of the contestants with Down’s syndrome bent down and kissed him and said “this will make it better.”

Then all of them linked arms, and walked together to the finish line.  Everyone in the stadium stood, and cheered; the cheering went on for several minutes. 

People who were there are still telling the story.  Why?  Because deep down we know this one thing: What matters in life is more than just winning for ourselves.  What matters in life is helping others win, even if it means slowing down, and changing our course.  What matters in life is going by our heart, sticking to our values and do whatever we possibly can to help someone else do better [and succeed].  It gives a sense of fulfilment which goes a long way in our lives and makes us true team players and even better human beings.

Now for a moment, think of a situation where one of your team member, junior, peer, or senior is struggling with something.  He could definitely use some help which will make a world of a difference to his morale and confidence.  How often do we face this in our daily work lives [and also in our lives out of work too]?  Quite often isn’t it. 

How many of us have went ahead and extended a helping hand, helped that person accomplish the task and succeed [in whatever sense it may be]?  Those who have would surely agree with me about the sense of fulfilment and empowerment it gives you, which would definitely have made your day and would have gone down your memory lane forever.  But more importantly, it made you a better and a stronger person from within.

Just imagine, for a moment, how would it be like if anyone and everyone in the team at work is willing and ready to extend the helping hand, support each other what ever it takes and help each other with things to make each other succeed?  I bet workplace would then become a very good place to be and you would love coming to work every day.  And more than that, you would win and succeed more often that otherwise.  The synergy which would then exist would only help improve the morale, the strength and the performance of the team.

I know to achieve this is easier said than done but someone needs to start rolling it.  So why not you? 

Remember, ideal teams [which is always dream of to be a part of] are not available readymade…they are to be built, one step at a time…shaping one person at a time and building on one principle at a time.

If you see the value in it then why not take a step forward and help someone win/succeed.  And please be sure to share with us the experience you had.

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Explore posts in the same categories: People Management, Personal Effectiveness, Team Building

3 Comments on “There’s more to racing than winning”

  1. vinesh Says:

    Statement from a statement!! Good one !!

  2. vicky chauhan Says:

    one of the best i hve ever read….


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