Being an ex-semi professional soccer player I have been taught a lot of lessons through sport. The difference between winning and losing is often fractional, but the lessons we learn from losing can be truly life or game changing.
Only one team wins the game. For each player on the winning team there is a player on the losing team going home disappointed without the joy of victory.
It’s a lot like life. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.
Sometimes we win the account, the game, the job promotion, the award and sometimes we lose the very thing we want most. Winning matters. Losing matters. But in life what matters most is what we do with our wins and losses.
When we win do we become complacent or stay humble and hungry?
People often say that success breeds success but often it breeds complacency. After a win people think they can just show up and achieve the same result, forgetting the effort, determination and mindset it took to achieve the win.
To continue winning it’s essential to turn the euphoria of winning into a fire of burning desire that fuels your continuous improvement, passion, and quest for excellence.
Even more important than what we do after our wins is how we respond to our losses.
Do we give up or come back stronger? Do we allow the loss to act like a cancer that eats away at us for the rest of our life or do we turn it into a learning opportunity that leads to our healthy growth?
I certainly know what it feels like to lose. I’ve lost many arguments with my wife. : ) As a sales person years ago I lost as many accounts as I won. I lost too many games as a soccer player with the University of Victoria and Island Selects and now I watch my children lose basketball matches and soccer games.
Everyone loses but the key is to make the loss stand for something and in my family LOSS now stands for:
LOSS (Learning Opportunity, Stay Strong)
When we lose we ask what we can learn from this loss and how we can improve because of it. Then we stay strong and work harder to come back and try to win.
This leads to more wins in the future…and also eventually more loses…and more learning opportunities and opportunities to stay strong and develop our character.
Through this process of winning and losing we learn the greatest lesson of all:
No matter how hard we work and how much we improve there will be times when we experience the worst of defeats instead of the greatest of victories. But ultimately life is about more than winning or losing. It’s about the lessons we learn, the character and strength we build and the people we become along the way.
Whether we win the game or not we will surely be a winner in the game of life!
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