Leadership TV

Competition Can Be A Act of Love: A New Ping-Pong Learning

Not knowing the result of a game may feel like the ultimate victory as no one has lost. In this video at Ted Talks, Pico Iyer explains how regular games of ping-pong in his neighborhood in Japan revealed to him the real meaning of victory. Iyer shares, “As a boy in England, I was taught that the point of a game is to win. But in Japan, I am encouraged to believe that the point of a game is to make as many people as possible around you feel that they are winners. A game of Ping-Pong is really like an act of love. You are learning how to play with somebody, rather than compete against them. It reminds me why choirs regularly enjoy more fun than soloists. In a choir, your only job is to hit your notes with feeling. You come to see that the opposite of winning is not losing- it’s the failure to see the larger picture.”

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