Let me start by saying that I understand that winning and fun are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I am so competitive that I most often have fun in sports and other competitive undertakings when I am winning. However, there is an important distinction to be made here.
The distinction comes from the intention when you start a new undertaking. Are you there to win or are you there to have fun?
This idea comes from the fact that I have joined one of my church’s softball teams, and we’re just not that good. We have won only once in the five or six games since I started playing (insert joke about my athletic ability here). But I didn’t join to win games. I joined the team to have fun. I joined the team to get the chance to be on a softball field every Saturday with the sun shining overhead.
And you know what? Sometimes I have to remind myself of that…. It’s not about winning. Not on this team anyway. To be certain, we want to win, but the fun and fellowship and exercise and the feeling that comes from friendly competition are what it is really all about.
The ‘manager’ of the team checks in with me every week after our games to make sure that I still want to come back. I suppose he thinks that I’ll leave the team to join one that wins games reliably. But I won’t. My team is my team and I’m not going to go join another church’s squad just to win games.
So what are you in it for? Are you in it to win, or are you in it to have fun? There is nothing wrong with either perpective, and I think both are important in given situations. But if you join a team or pick up a hobby to have fun… Keep that in mind as time goes on, because we all need to have fun. And if we turn fun into trying to win, then fun just turns into another to-do list and another thing to get frustrated about.