Again it is March Madness time. Every year when it seems winter will not let go, March Madness comes along to distract some of us who are basketball fans into spring. For me, it is not only about seeds and brackets and the excitement of close games, but also about observing human nature under stress.
For some of us, stress and challenge seem to bring out our best. We can dig deeper and find strength we did not know we had. We “rise to the occasion.” A freshman player is empowered to step up and take the final shot of the game, attempting and making the winning 3-pointer. For some of us, stress and challenge threaten our peace of mind and ego strength so much that we would rather not even try, in the event that we might not be successful.
Doing our personal best is the greatest victory, win or lose. It requires leaving our comfort zone and going all in, willing to experience our own limitations as well as our own strengths. The challenge might be to start something new or continue something we are not sure we can finish. It might be to take a chance on a surgery that will require our best effort to convalesce, but is a chance for a fuller life. It might be finally walking away from an addiction so powerful we are not sure we can survive without it.
The glory of prevailing is not always visible as a win on the outside. It is the inner knowing that we have found the courage to commit to doing our best and accepting that it is enough.