(American 10,000 m champion, twice World Cross-Country champion, 2:10 marathoner)

Question: How do I cope with the pressure of winning or, on the other hand, the disappointment of losing, in a sports competition?

Sri Chinmoy: You can cope with the pressure of winning if, a few days before the race or even just before the start, you can imagine the pleasure of rejoicing in your victory. Imagination is not wishful thinking; it is not a baseless reality. Imagination is reality itself in another world. We bring it down to this world the way we bring down fruits from a tree.

To cope with the disappointment of losing, you have to ask yourself whether the mind is disappointed or the heart is disappointed. You will realise that it is your mind that is disappointed and not your heart. The mind creates division; the mind is division itself, and division is another name for pain, devastating pain. The heart, on the other hand, creates oneness; in fact, the heart is oneness itself, and oneness is another name for joy, spontaneous joy. When you live in your heart, even if your worst rival wins the race, you will not feel miserable. To your wide surprise, you will find that his joy quite unconsciously and unexpectedly will enter into you and widen your heart. Then you will feel almost the same joy that the winner feels.