Shaun White talks about his “loss”* at the 2014 Winter Olympics. I love his perspective:
People felt for me even more to see the one expected to win… not win.
People that were in the sport that really disliked me were all of a sudden posting on their Instagrams about how great I was and “he's just a spectacular guy…”
And I'm like, “you hated me like just before this!”
It was amazing to see the mind-set [change]
and the veil that got dropped [from] over people's eyes where they realized that I'm just like them.
I had the tricks to win. I had everything going my way and I just couldn't let myself do it.
Winning is great, it makes you feel great.
It's like you accomplished something.
You set out a goal and you did it.
And it's amazing and you earned that.
But, you know, [winning] doesn't really equal happiness…
I won the Olympics [in 2006] and I was unhappy.
I won the Olympics [in 2010] and I was unhappy,
I lost the Olympics [in 2014] and I was happy.
He talks about how people connected with him and felt for him more in his loss than in his wins; the people who were his biggest haters before were suddenly praising him.
When he was winning so easily, he wasn’t relatable. But when he lost, suddenly he’s human; he’s fallible; and then the connection happens. And that's what drives happiness. Connecting with others. He also says in there "I had everything going my way [in order to win]; I just couldn't let myself do it." It almost sounds like he subconsciously threw the match. So interesting…
*seriously, the guy came in 4th out of 41 in the finals, but Shaun considers 4th best in the world to be a loss.