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Being behind can mean you’re a winner

Posted Mar 19 2009 3:19pm

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Wouldn’t you know it would take “March Madness” to show us that coming from behind can make you a winner?

Two guys at Wharton Behavioral Lab explored the idea that losing can lead to winning because of the strong  motivational effects of being close to your goal ( When Losing Leads to a Win).

They applied their theory to sports and published a NY Time s Article,  A Slight Deficit Leads to a Win, showing how teams just “a little behind”, say a point down after the first half, generally won.

What does it have to do with working while living with a chronic illness?  Everything.

People with chronic illness (CI) aren’t heroines (or heroes) as common mythology likes to paint it.  But,  living with a CI can teach you things about yourself, if you let it.   This was a BIG message in the book I co-authored with Joan Freidlander,  Women Work and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend!

I’ve seen in my own life that chronic illness gave me  a desire to succeed at work and a sense of  inner quiet I never thought I had. I’ve seen from my clients and the online community of people living with chronic illness whom I’ve come to know, that people who are motivated to succeed find a way to use chronic illness to be more than they might have been.

Living with any chronic illness makes life harder, no matter how you slice it.   For some, the issues are minor. They might feel like  the team that is  a point behind at half time.  Maybe illness will  be the  jolt that propels them ahead of the pack - in whatever that means for them.

For others, illness sets you back so far you can’t imagine clear about what really matters and pursue that.  That makes you a winner in  my book.

Have you found  that “coming from behind”, living with a chronic illness has made you  more motivated?   What did it do for you?


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