Our culture is so imbued with seeing winning as the ultimate objective.
Sports, negotiations, business deals, arguments. It's all about competition and emerging as the victor.
But I'd like to make a distinction here and say that there isn't as much value in winning as in triumphing.
Just look at the prepositions. When you win, you win "against". You're succeeding in something, but that something seems conquerable and in a comparable league. The connotation is lateral. You haven't outlived your circumstances, so to speak.
But when you triumph, you triumph "over". Again, you're successful, but this time, there's a discernible direction of verticality. You're achieving despite the situation, and you've proved yourself against greater odds. Colored by a certain emotionality, adversity, and nobility, it feels much more powerful and fulfilling.
If we're simply looking to win, we're in the wrong game.
Let's aim higher and raise our bar. Instead of winning, let's seek to triumph.