Like everyone else in most Europe and other parts of the word for the last few days I was watching the US elections. And before you move out, I am not here to argue who is the best candidate and why. I am not a democrat nor a republican, and yet in the same way I am both, in the easiest sense to understand that most of us who are not US voting citizens have no way to influence that election.
People ask me, yes but you’ve been to the States, you’ve worked there so much, who would you have voted for? Well to be honest, is not the same to visit a place, work there for a while as it is to live there. You cannot picture it out, you have to experience it for a longer time. So I will not play mind games saying definitely I would have voted for red or for blue without actually living in that part of the world and understanding what makes sense for my life, my company and mostly for my country. So do not worry I am not here to say much about how amazing or how ridiculous one or the other candidate is (btw for those who say A is ridiculous and Y is amazing, hold your horses, both sides’ voters have claim the same about theirs and the opponent candidate).
Now that we made this clear let’s go into my main question here. The illusion of winning and losing and how that can affect anyone, or even an entire country.
To go deeper, who decides who the winner is and who is the loser? It may be a very straight forward question and yet is not that easy. In a more classical game you may think well it’s easy, the one who has the higher number of votes is wining. Technically speaking they got the higher number of votes, yet what is the win behind it…
One of the things I like to think of when coming to a race is the 10000 meters one, is not as spectacular as the 100 m everyone watches nor as challenging as a marathon everyone respects. But is a long enough race for things to happen, for strategy to be observed more easily, and short enough to keep us excited and watching it till the end, short enough to see the spectacular results and changes in situation.
Now when you do run a race few things happen:
· First you are not alone, other athletes are running along side
· Second you have your acclaimers, there is a public pushing everyone further
· Finally, there is a starting and an ending line.
Moreover, one of the most important part I like is that in all major competitions we do not only measure the time to finish but also we consider best time to win the run, as well as world record and personal best. How fantastic is that.
Why do we need such a contest to measure personal best, why not running in our own yard and measure how well we have done?
The fact that you are not running alone means that, this is a race others find important to run too. And while running aside people who trained and practiced hard for it there is a higher energy. One can only understand what it means once one has done it at least once. To go back to the US election both JB and DT know how hard that race is, and know how many started the race and that only the two of them ended it. Therefore, one can only have tremendous respect for the others who have run the race. Most of us would not even consider running, not to mention fighting till the end.
First, what is happening if let’s say one athlete runs the course and while he runs he focuses on what all the others are doing, regardless they are in front, behind or at the same level with him/her in that moment. Can she/he win proceeding this way? Most probably not. While having a glance or an eye of what is happening in the race gives a runner a strategic advantage so they know when or how to push harder, keeping your eyes on others definitely cannot help them run faster. To go back to US, this is one of the things that changed in this election, to a point in time each of the candidate was running the other candidate race, pointing out what was not well done or good enough. And I will spare you the details the media is full of them. Yet to the end of the race they had to refocus on their own strengths so they can not only win but put up their personal best.
Now the second part is quite interesting, because there is a public, there is an energy, we have those who support one specific candidate and cheer for him, those who try to put down the opponent candidate as they don’t like him, and we have the observers who are there to enjoy the run and learn from it.
The entire public is there and they all put energy together. To some point that can also win or lose a race, especially when the runners are aware of their supporters, they do so much more to satisfy them. Have you noticed is so much easy to do something for others than for self… Going back to a presidential election one can argue how much those candidates are running for themselves or for others. And I hear people believing the DT is selfish so he has his own interest at stake while JB is selfless and his heart is all about the people. Most probably you can have supporters of DT who will state the same in the opposite direction. The truth is that at 70 past years old there must be a lit bit of ego but what a nightmare for such a title if only coming from an ego perspective, isn’t it, it does not seem to be a motivator high enough.
Both of them had a long life, and know a little more about what is relevant or not. My bet is both candidates’ motivation is to serve, they run convinced that they could do more for others by winning the race than their own personal benefit (without having any proof for it of course). But being at this age, having enough money to live nicely till the end of your life, why would you make such a choice? There are other options out there. No it has to be something bigger than that they are up for: to make an impact, to make a difference, to leave a legacy,… As soon as we change our mindset around their own “why” to become a US president, we lose quite a lot of our judgmental opinions isn’t it…
The 3rd part is about the rule of the game, we don’t argue over a life time achievement, we argue over a race which happens in a specific space and time. Both candidates had their fair share of wins and losses, of challenges and pains, of successes and love, they both made mistakes and raised up higher each time; yet this is not what people judge, the race is judged by votes given in a specific day or few days to be clearer. That’s all. It does not say this is a good person or a bad person, it just says in this specific moment, this specific context, this is how many votes they got.
Now one of the most extraordinary things happened during this election, and for those who believe US is no longer an example of democracy think back to your own country? How many people took time to vote? The answer to this question brings us to extraordinary results. JB got according to the figures we have so far the “world record”, meaning the highest number of votes ever recorded for an elected president. While this is by far a personal best of course for JB, DT did at least as good, as he managed to add 5 Million voters to his previous election, so he did improve his personal best.
Remember, why don’t we run in the back of our yard and measure personal best? Fist because it is less relevant for others and is does not make a difference, it only means something for you, but mostly is only when you are confronted with other energy that you can push further much more than you ever think you can do.
Now this brings me to my final part
– Personal best is a wining. And there is a reason why we measure that. Is only up to each of us to decide so. Republican may consider they have done great thanks to DT, for example.
– Wining a race is not so much about a final win. You may remember the saying we may win a battle but what we want is to win the war. I am not sure how much of a win actually is when considering what’s coming up after the election and the challenges ahead of the new president.
– Winning and losing are illusions. We talk a lot about this in coaching, at some level of energy we realize these are only concepts human created to navigate through life. It is all about the global picture, and when we do so, we may realize that we are all in this together and working together is more valuable than proving right and wrong, good and bad, you have to lose in order for me to win. There are other ways in which we can all win together. Why not celebrate more the run than the victory? Why not appreciate more the journey?
Did JB win, did DT lose? At the end of the count they are the only ones to decide what the number of total votes represent for themselves.
Did the US people win? 8 years ago, 4 years ago, today? History will tell as is too close to call to use a famous media phrase. It is a higher view with an historical perspective that will give us the impact of decisions that have been taken not only during the race but during the run of the presidency. Because contrary of a race, it is on a long run that history will tell.
As an observer, I’m proud of my American friends, and I clap for everyone who has voted and for both runners; it was a fine race, which allowed us to learn a lot.
 This article has been written after the media announcement of the projected elected president yet before the official results.