Why second place is the winner

Why Second Place Wins

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Winning first place is best, right? I think of The Olympics when the winner gets the gold. Hooray! The bronze is #3, but is a winner because they are on the podium. The loser is second place. The silver medalist never looks happy to have missed the gold — to have missed being be #1.

What does it mean to be a second place winner? It means you still won — kinda, but you are the runner up. We all love the rewarding feeling of achieving a goal, but coming up short may not be such a bad alternative.

One study found that about half of silver medalists were alive at age 80, compared to only a third of gold medalists. But they also found that second-place athletes pursued higher-paying occupations after the Olympics, while first-place winners went onto lower-paying pursuits.

When you're in second place, you have to fight. And that's where the real creativity comes out. This process can be incredibly motivating! Employing a Growth Mindset leads to higher overall achievement.

Finishing in second place could make you the real winner in the long run, according to one scientist. Those who win often do so because of a fluke and they actually have inferior skills — actually about five percentage points less skilled than those who came further down the rankings.

What about last place? Brock Purdy is an American football quarterback. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers as the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Unofficially, Mr. Irrelevant, he has risen to an undefeated record. In the 13 games Purdy has played at least three quarters under center, the 49ers are 13-0. The 49ers are the NFL's most dominant team to date in 2023.

How about yoga? Well, there are no winners or losers in yoga. It’s a self-competition so you can be your best. There is no end, only the practice so ranking is irrelevant. It’s all about how you feel. That’s the win!


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