What is best way to mea­sure suc­cess?

The Tatura Guardian - - News - — Brian Spencer, min­is­ter, Tatura Unit­ing Church

In the film White Men Can’t Jump Rosie Perez, who plays Woody Har­rel­son’s girl­friend, says to him at one point, ‘‘Some­times when you win, you re­ally lose. And some­times when you lose, you re­ally win . . . Win­ning or los­ing is all one or­ganic mech­a­nism, from which one ex­tracts what one needs’’. How do you mea­sure suc­cess? At the end of the foot­ball sea­son, there can only be one premier team.

But win­ning and los­ing is a lit­tle more com­plex.

Around coun­try Vic­to­ria foot­ball and net­ball teams are cel­e­brat­ing their suc­cess or re­view­ing their year.

The AFL Grand Fi­nal has been played and won. Coaches have been sacked.

Play­ers have re­tired, been told their ser­vices are no longer re­quired, signed new con­tracts and booked in for post-sea­son op­er­a­tions to re­pair their in­jured bod­ies.

Many will be ap­ply­ing Rosie Perez’s wis­dom and ex­tract­ing what they need from their sea­son and find­ing their own sense of win­ning or los­ing.

The phi­los­o­phy of leg­endary NFL coach Vince Lom­bardi: ‘‘Win­ning isn’t ev­ery­thing. It’s the only thing.’’ is pro­foundly wrong.

Some­times, what ad­vances your in­ter­ests to­day ul­ti­mately sets you back in the fu­ture.

Some­times, suc­cess in one di­men­sion of life dam­ages other things we value.

Things don’t ex­ist in iso­la­tion.

Win­ning the game, but dam­ag­ing a re­la­tion­ship is not win­ning.

One of the great ironies of gam­bling is that the vast ma­jor­ity of peo­ple lose money while the few who win dis­cover money doesn’t make them happy — and of­ten it ac­tu­ally ru­ins their lives.

One study re­ported that ‘‘six months af­ter win­ning the lot­tery, you are likely to be no hap­pier than if you had been paral­ysed in a car crash’’.

Life is not a game of win­ners and losers.

You are not a win­ner just be­cause you have money and power and you are not a loser if you end up poor and pow­er­less.

Life is not about how much money you make, how much power and author­ity you make for your­self.

It is not about worldly suc­cess of any kind.

They might be nice, but in the end they are noth­ing.

Many famous, wealthy ac­tors and celebri­ties die of de­pres­sion, over­dos­ing on drugs.

Too many re­tired sport­ing cham­pi­ons suf­fer deep de­pres­sion.

In White Men Can’t Jump, Woody Har­rel­son plays Billy, a small-time bas­ket­ball hus­tler, whose com­pet­i­tive na­ture puts at risk his re­la­tion­ship with Glo­ria (Rosie Perez). The cli­max of the film comes when Glo­ria tells Billy that if he uses the money she has given him to par­tic­i­pate in an­other cas­hearn­ing bas­ket­ball game she will leave him.

Billy, though he loves her, joins with his buddy Sid­ney to en­ter the game.

Af­ter a tough game Sid­ney and Billy emerge vic­to­ri­ous, Billy se­cur­ing the win by mak­ing a slam dunk.

When they get back to Billy’s apart­ment, Billy finds out Glo­ria was true to her word as she is gone.

Billy won­ders why he lost the girl de­spite win­ning the money and the game, but he then re­mem­bers what Glo­ria told him, ‘‘Some­times when you win, you re­ally lose’’.

Je­sus asked, ‘‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’’

Too much is made of business and sport­ing suc­cess and our ma­te­rial wealth to the poverty of our in­ner life.

Love and trust, faith and hope, friend­ship and fam­ily, be­long­ing and help­ing oth­ers is the stuff of true suc­cess.

This is the gospel, and it’s good news.

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