“What seems logical, but is actually false?”
Dear Solomon, there is so much which falls into this category. My Philosophy of Opposite includes Understanding and being Aware of such instances of distorted thinking and making Positive use of them. The entire ego-culture and dominance psychology is a good example. One particular aspect of it stands out for me: the “Winning is Everything” foolishness. It’s a particularly apt example of a falsehood which so many take to be inherently self-explanatory and thus not only logical, but reasonable. However, what a disguised deception this mis-belief turns out to be.
What’s the logic involved? “Losing sucks, losing is for losers. If you’re not a winner you’re and loser and losers suck. Winning is everything. Winning makes you a winner.” – Not particularly deep thinking, it’s all based on a premise of relative value. This logic is rooted in primitive and animal motivations, the logic of Hierarchy, of pecking order, of dominance and superiority. The logic of ego and status, and the resulting distortions of vanity and self-importance. This mindset is based on the belief that these goals are what life is all about. This is what one “should” do.
Thinking it Through
The major problem with “Winning is Everything” is that everything part. The resulting distortion of perspective leads to massive gaps in logic. Even worse, it leads to rationalisation of behaviour that would otherwise not even be contemplated. Unethical, immoral, and criminal behaviour suddenly comes into play. When a psychology becomes fixated and immersed inside a bubble-belief, awareness shrinks and all sorts of otherwise unacceptable behaviours are perpetrated in the name of the dominating drive and goal. The resulting corruption of the underlying psychology ends up being horrible and often devastating.
When winning is everything, it leads to a disconnection from non-winning. The entire psychology becomes obsessed with winning. Typically winning is restricted to one major field of endeavour which then predominates and takes over the identity leading to a disconnection with life in general.
But that identity is never enough, it cannot be, because it is not the all of anyone, thus the obsession spreads to trying to “win’ at everything, leading to a hyper-competitiveness. Everything becomes a competition, even for instance, in areas like eating. Ludicrous instances of competition, all to satisfy this obsession. But, it’s an obsession because the original instances of winning did not yield the satisfaction and happiness promised.
The most critical flaw in the winning mindset is the belief that winning will somehow transform the person. it does not. Winning at something is merely one small part of the totality that makes an individual. It all depends why one wins. A “winner” could be a horrible person with a particular skill set. The winning does nothing to make them a good person, or a happy person actually. if one needs winning to be happy, right there is already a major flaw in the psychology.
If life is seen as one big competition, and winning is everything this puts us at war with everyone. When winning is everything, that is the resultant mindset. It’s of course preposterous and absurd when viewed from this perspective, but that is exactly what happens internally. A sad state of affairs for those who become consumed by this mis-belief.
Winning obsessed mindsets forget one essential fact about most activities where winning is an issue. Those activities, despite being labled as competition, are still actually exercises in cooperation. When there are agreed upon rules, that makes it cooperation. We cooperate in competing. When the values of competition are forgotten, when they disappear because of the dominance of the winning is everything ideology, that’s when the cooperative benefits tend to disappear.
Benefits such as competing to bring out the best of oneself, to raise one’s standards of being, of excellence, to provide a test that we could not otherwise enact. To challenge, stimulate, educate, enhance and otherwise further our learning and growing. These are some of the wonderful benefits of cooperative competition. Winning to this mindset is of little importance, what matters is the quality of the competing. To easily win in a one-sided competition is of no value or benefit, whereas losing closely to a much more skilled opponent where we excelled beyond our previous abilities, that’s something valuable.
The most critical flaw in the “winning is everything” mind-corruption is the false importance of relative “betterness.” Winning to this mindset simply means being better than whoever is competed against. It’s that relative status that comes to be seen as the goal. Or even just being able to say, “I won!” One can see this in this mindset when they engage in absurdly mismatched competitions, all for the purpose of simply being able to claim that dubious benefit. Like adults competing with children in thoroughly lop-sided engagements.
This “winner” mindset completely ignores one key crucial perspective and understanding, they ignore the value and benefit of Excellence. When winning is simply based on relative performance absent of any real excellence it becomes utterly hollow and meaningless. The more this insubstantial and worthless “winning” is pursued, with its false value, the more that “winning” mindset gets no real benefit. Which leads to fuelling their obsession, constantly chasing their “fix” which gives them that brief momentary respite, but does not lead to anything actually significant or lasting. Without excellence, winning is pointless and merely an exercise in ego-bullshit.
By Implication, if one is truly a “winner,” that would mean living in a world of losers. How crap is that? Only a rampant narcissist would see this as a positive. When winning is an absolute, and the only benefit of winning is winning, when excellence is absent, what do we have? Nothing really.
Looking at it all from inside the “winner” what do we have? By winning we are creating losers. Who wants that? Not me. If competition, true competition, which is cooperation and not war, is not about excellence, improvement, and learning, it simply becomes the instituting of misery onto others. Not for me thanks.
If our interactions are premised on domination, on us feeling good at the expense of others, what does that say about us? Nothing good. When we apply Discernment to “Winning,” especially the wholly corrupted mis-belief of “Winning is everything,” we soon see the pitfalls of this falsity and ill-logic.
What’s especially sad when immersed in the winning distortion is the perversion of happiness. The notion of simply being happy because of Appreciation, because of simply existing within the marvellous marvel and wonder which is life, disappears. Of all the multitude ways of being happy and enjoying life, winning is a poor choice. So much More to choose from. What winning especially forgets is the major benefit of cooperation, and especially collaboration, which is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and vastly greater than any one isolated part.
“Me at the expense of everyone else, is the credo of the bullshit-narcissist – a horribly false and perverted logic.“
Rules of submissions: There are no rules.
- Your name can be a “handle” to protect privacy.
- You can choose whether you want a private response or a feature article created from your question. We can’t promise that all requests for a feature article will result in a feature article.
About the Columnist
A Contemporary Philosopher and Writer, who exercises a glorious intellectual mind that is most admirable for its profundity and sharpness. Often offering multiple sides of an argument, and provoking self-introspection. Their aim is to uncover Appropriateness, Awareness, Attention, Application, Attunement, and more, with a unique, high-level understanding of the profound intricacies that interlace these concepts.
. . . more to come