Work as hard as you can. Actually do 100% of the things you could do to set yourself up for success and you still might not get what you want.
Much of the way children are raised in the modern, privileged world doesn’t allow them to consider failure. They are taught to think positively, work hard and you’ll get what you want. We’re lying to them. They still should work really hard, have goals and systems to move them forward–the lie is that hard work will surely lead to success.
In team sports there are only so many starting spots, places on all-star teams and winners. It’s zero-sum. For every winner there is a loser. Saying everyone can, with hard work, be a winner is doing a disservice to kids and to the process of working hard.
Yup, sometimes you do everything right and someone is still better than you. By communicating this we help kids value the process, really cherish the victories and learn from the losses. Without this clarity they come to think of themselves as losers and many quit trying. This hurts everyone.