In the world of the blogosphere, I had a rough week last week: I lost four followers in five days. (The crowd gasps). While that might not sound like a large amount, it did to me. It was the most I had ever lost in such a short span of time.
Of course, I turned inward to look for a place to blame. (This was the wrong thing to do). I wondered what I had done wrong. Had I been writing about the wrong things? Or was I doing a poor job overall? I even foolishly thought about creating a poll so that my readers could tell me what they wanted to read. (How’s that for being brilliantly uncreative?)
A Numbers Game
I did the math: at this pace (assuming a net loss of 4 followers in 5 days overall) I would be down to zero in less than three years. I panicked. Still, I had a little time to sort it out,and that can only mean one thing: a wandering mind. I began thinking about the concepts of winning and losing, and what they really mean. The results may or may not surprise you.
The Biggest Losers
Here are some of the most infamous losers of all time. See if you can discern a pattern.
The 1962 Mets: This baseball team had an overall record of 40 wins and 120 losses (an all-time worst) and they finished over 60 games out of first place. Still, fans flocked to see them, and they were given the nicknames “The Lovable Losers” and “The Amazin’s”. A mere seven years later, the 1969 Mets went on to shock the world and win the World Series, thereby earning the title of the best team in the game.
The 1972-3 New York Islanders: During the first year of this team’s existence, the Islanders went an abysmal 12 – 60 – 6 and finished in last place. Their standard of play was low, and they were often completely dominated by their foe. Seven years later, the Islanders strung together for consecutive Stanley Cup Championships, one short of the all-time record.
Susan Lucci: One of America’s most beloved daytime actresses, Susan Lucci’s career became the butt of jokes, and she earned more fame for her losing than her acting. She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award – and lost – 18 times!
Taking this in stride, Lucci would often lampoon herself by appearing in skits in other television programs. Her positive attitude paid off in 1999 when she was finally voted “Outstanding Lead Actress.” In 2005, she received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2006. She was also named one of VH1’s 200 Top Icons of All-Time.
Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown calls himself “blah” and believes that he cannot do anything right. He cannot fly a kite without it ending in a tree. He cannot kick a football without having it pulled away. And he cannot toss a baseball without having it drilled back at him at breakneck speed. Yet “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special” is perhaps America’s all-time favorite, he appeared in the “Peanuts” comic strip for almost 50 years, and (along with his dog Snoopy), Charlie Brown was ranked by TV Guide as the 8th Greatest Cartoon Character of All-time. Some loser, eh?
The Formula for Success
There are two ways to look at this. The first is by focusing on awards. The second is by focusing on what is more important: having friends and loved ones, taking care of people, teaching others and contributing to the world. But one thing is clear: I have come up with a mathematic equation for success and it is this: a “loser” plus experience multiplied by time, equals a winner. Here is how the equation looks:
(LOSER + EXPERIENCE) X TIME = WINNER
Tape that to your mirror the next time you feel bad about yourself!