A surprise win



We participated in a “Chili Cookoff” with the other fourth grade families at our school this week.  If you know me at all, it’s likely you know that I don’t really cook.  I mean, I bake fish and sweet potatoes, but for the most part, that’s it.  It’s not that I can’t cook, I like to think it’s just something I haven’t matured into yet.  😉

Lucky for me, chili wasn’t the only activity of the night. 

Yes, I made chili.  It was Aunt Chelle’s famous family recipe, and it was pretty good.  But also lucky for me, they only share the rankings for the top three pots of chili and this is not the final scoreboard for the chili contest.


It’s the scoreboard for the Texas State History trivia contest.

Now first, let’s be clear.  I was the only person on my team not originally from Texas, so I did not take Texas history in school.  I am however, an intuitive test-taker, so there’s at least that.  And it turns out that our little team “GC” (for Gornto/Collins) WON the trivia contest.  We were only in the lead once, during the 35 question Trivia game, but somehow, we pulled out a win.

Want to know our secret?

We didn’t quit.

Yes, we were bummed when the leaderboard showed us down to 15th place, several times.  Yes, it was discouraging when we accidentally touched the wrong color buzzer to lose the round.  Absolutely, it was demoralizing when we guessed the obvious “bait” answer of “Cotton”, more than once.   But, here’s the deal:

We didn’t even consider quitting.  

We were in it for the long haul and we wanted to win. We adjusted our strategies on the fly. “If you know the answer, just call out the color. . . and somebody hit that button as fast as you can.” “If we don’t know the answer, somebody just guess. . . and quick!”  There was no blame or frustration, we each just kept doing our best.

We kept going. 

Leading into the last question, we were in something like 5th place.   But after we hit enter on that final question, somehow we won!  I might have gotten a little rowdy in my so-called illegal touchdown celebration.  But I couldn’t help it, we pulled out a completely unexpected win.

What’s the trivia game in your life today?

Where have you been taking that “bait” or hitting the wrong buzzer over and over again?

How are you being tested on knowledge that you were clearly never taught?

Keep going anyway.

You can’t pull out a surprise win if you quit now.

If you quit now, you might not ever learn the game-time strategies that will set you up to win next time.

Huddle up with your team.

Now is the time to lean in.  They need you.  They need what only you can bring.

It’s not the win that matters in the end.  

It’s what you learn and who you become all along the way.

to more love,


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