Sunday, July 09, 2006

Congratulate Your Competitors

Today's post comes courtesy of Dr. Robert A. Schuller and is very fitting considering the grace that Rafael Nadal just showed when he congratulated Roger Federer for winning his fourth Wimbledon title.

Congratulating your competitor when he does a better job, when he outpaces you, or when he runs off with the prize is a concrete statement of faith.

It shows mountains of faith when you have enough internal pride and self-esteem to give your competition a pat on the back after he has defeated you soundly and squarely.

In the summer of 1983, at sixty-fifth PGA Championship in Pacific Palisades, California, Hal Sutton and Jack Nicklaus exercised fantastic faith.

Sutton wanted the world to know that it was possible for him to be a winner. Only two weeks earlier he had had an embarrassing failure at the Anheuser-Busch classic.

Nicklaus, at forty-three years of age, had played poorly all season. Sports writers were declaring he was "over the hill." They were suggesting he pack up his clubs.

As the tournament neared the end, the battle was between Nicklaus and Sutton. In the end Sutton won - by one hole! Nicklaus lost by one stroke.

Both proved something terribly important to the world. One proved that he could be a winner. The other proved he still had it! In the process Nicklaus broke his own record.

But Nicklaus had his greatest success when he went up to twenty-five-year-old Hal Sutton, shook hands, and said to him bravely and beautifully, "That will be the first of many for you!"

That's the faith that moves mountains! Mountains of failure, jealousy, resentment, and all other negative emotions disappear when you are confident enough in your own talents to congratulate your competitors.

Good luck and make it a great day!

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