College basketball is my favorite sport to watch, so naturally I am giddy with excitement as the first full round of March Madness kicks off today with the Men's NCAA Tournament, followed by the Women's Tournament kicking off tomorrow. Yes, I submit a bracket every year (see below), but I would caution you in putting any weight on my picks whatsoever: although I have come in first a few times, I have more often found myself in the bottom-half of the standings.
But I am actually not focused on my picks this year, for probably the first time ever. While I am wholeheartedly rooting for Indiana to bring home its sixth national title =), what I am actually focused on this year is enjoying the tournament more than I have in previous years. What do I mean by that? I need to not get so crazy when I don't pick a game correctly.
Now do not get me wrong, I believe my competitive drive is one of my strongest assets, but at times it can hurt me. I can let losing, whether I am playing a game, rooting for my team, or trying to pick the perfect bracket severely affect my mood, and as a result I do not enjoy the process. What is so bad about letting that happen in any situation in your life, especially something you really enjoy like I enjoy March Madness, is that we should be elated during the process! The anticipation and the process are as amazing, if not more amazing, than the actual end result. It's about being present, being grateful, and cherishing the moment. Just like life. Enjoy everything about the process, even the challenges and the adversity. Enjoy every game, every day, every moment.
You are no lesser of a competitor if you don't show extreme emotion in competition, in fact in the end you earn more respect by being a graceful winner and loser. Use your competitive spirit to your advantage, but do your best to never let it control you, your attitude, or your emotions. If you have a strong competitive drive like me, I invite you to join me this year in the moment to enjoy the amazing display of courage, commitment, and sportsmanship that is March Madness.