This week #OTalk is a media club and is being hosted by Bill Wong (@BillwongOT).
The subject is “Beyond Winning By Janet O’Shea at TEDxUCLA” and the video can be accessed below
Here is what Bill had to say about his topic;
For you #otalk regulars, some of you might have read that I will be doing a TEDx Talk for a second time in March 2017. In preparation for the vibe of this historic moment in OT, I have decided to go on a listening binge on non-OT TED Talks. By doing so, I thought it will be awesome to do a change of pace of my typical media club content, as I will use a TED Talk by a non-OT and use our OT lens to discuss the topic shared by these speakers.
For those of you who know me, I am a highly competitive person, especially in things I believe I am either at least decent at or I want to be good at. In my early OT career, I dreaded losing, as I only had winning in mind. Losing gracefully was very hard for me. (Some of you might have noticed my bitter Facebook statuses I made when I lost out on a meaningful opportunities in OT at that point of time.) The fact that I lose or got rejected more often than not in such situations made things worse. At that time, I remembered I wished, “If someone can just give me an opportunity, it will erase all the disappointments I accumulated over the years.” Not surprisingly, because of how I handled losing relatively poorly (since I vented on social media a lot back then), I got a fair share of constructive criticism from my peers.
Fast forward to now, I still am a competitive person. However, I have learned to handle losing more gracefully when I miss out on meaningful opportunities in OT. Instead of lamenting and expressing my disappointments on social media, I have learned to put things in perspective. Sure, having some awesome accomplishments since then has helped. But, I began to accept sometimes that moral victories are just as good, if not better than physical victories. I also have learned that great champions not only know how to win, but also how to lose.
An example of which was a difference in how I viewed opportunities from AOTA to further my CPD and CV. As recently as 2 years ago, I heard quite a bit of peers saying that I deserved to make the Emerging Leaders Development Programs because they believed I was a strong candidate for it. In addition, some of my friends who made that program wondered why I got snubbed by the process 3 times. As I am a competitive person, my mindset was “Emerging Leaders or bust”. Each time I received a rejection letter, I would almost cry in disappointment and wondered I wasn’t good enough. Although I would get over such disappointments in a day, I would make posts on Facebook about how disappointed I was.
Looking back, I realized I focused too much on the near-sighted results. Because of that, I completely overlooked the process I went through to put myself in position to compete for such things. I also overlooked that I was very resilient in trying to come back for more, in terms of going for opportunities in OT that don’t always have 100% success rate. Finally, I realized that the actual outcomes have little or no bearing on whether my peers view I am successful. Simply put, I was like a beauty conscious peacock.
Now, although I still feel some disappointment whenever my peers have opportunities to do things I wanted to do in OT, I have learned to move on without letting my disappointments dwell in my mind instead. I also constantly reminded myself that my attempts were already moral victories. One example of which was that I had none of my conference abstracts accepted for the 2017 AOTA conference, which is probably the AOTA conference with the most historical significance in this generation for OT students and practitioners. The old me would have been throwing tantrums on Facebook. The new me simply just told myself, “All I can do is try. There is always next year. Besides, since I go to so many conferences nowadays, you have more chances to succeed.” I was really proud of myself on handling such disappointments with grace in this instance, and my peers have noted my improvements in handling such situations now than a few years ago.
Bottom line, winning is not everything! Enjoying the process and experience is far more important. So, here are some discussion questions.
- On a scale of 1-10 (with 1 = not important at all; and 10 = it means the world), how much do you value winning as a kid? Why?
- Using the same scale, has anything changed now? If so, why so? If not, why not?
- What do you think of play’s significance across our lifespans?
- As OT students and practitioners, what can we do to help our clients to not get too caught up with winning across the lifespan?
342 Avg Tweets/Hour
8 Avg Tweets/Participant