Learning To Lose …


Fail“We must learn how to lose before we learn how to play.”

Author unknown, but it was not me.

One of the most discussed aspects of our current educational system which many now see as flawed concerns the “self-esteem” movement of a few years ago.  While the motives and the aspirations were worthy, the real attempts to make everyone feel good about themselves backfired.

As a society, we have diluted the concepts of hard work, competition, and the idea of how to lose gracefully.

Not everyone wins every time you play the game.

Every effort does not deserve recognition.

Showing up is important, but does not earn a trophy.

Losing without losing your cool is one darned important life skill and it is one many of us lack.

So how does one lose gracefully?

… with a smile on your face.  

It’s not being “fake”, it’s accepting reality.  If we recognize the reality of losing and resist the urge to engage in conspiracy theories about the officiating or the bosses agenda, we look a lot classier down the road.

… by putting things in perspective.  

Even the losers on American Idol have careers afterward, the survivors who get voted off the island still live their lives, and you’ll be okay in time, even if you lose the World Series, do not get that promotion,

… by recognizing that allowing another to excel does not diminish your own efforts.  

I hate the droning “Good Game” mumbled by the losers as they slap hands with the winners on the kid’s athletic fields.  No authenticity at all.   Mean it and say it like you mean it.

This IS about taking life as it is, recognizing that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose … and it really is about how you play the game.

By the way, none of this exempts us from sharing whatever we have with others who have less and being benevolent and loving toward everyone, regardless of our petty or superficial differences.  That’s a different game …

This also has nothing to do with emotional or psychological loss, which is what we experience when a marriage, partnership, relationship, or life ends or changes much.   Another post for another time …

Trying to do my best without expecting a trophy in the Heartland ….

John

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