Losing or Learning
“I never lose. I either win or I learn.” ~Nelson Mandela
This profound quote by Nelson Mandela has really been taking up some space in my brain lately, which is an awfully good thing considering the depth of meaning behind those words. We live in a competitive world where we all want to be “winners” and feeling like a loser has an inherent sense of lack built into the word. To be a loser quite literally means, to lose or to have lost something.
But what if we actually never lose?
The idea of never losing is ripe with possibility because it transmutes perceived loss into deep learning.
I know some of you are probably shaking your head thinking, no way man, losing sucks and that’s all there is to it.
By now you know I will encourage you to stretch your mind a little further than what you’re used to and recognize that there’s a hidden gem in loss, and like a unicorn, it is available to those who believe.
When we lose something that doesn’t mean much, it’s easier to take the bounce and find the silver lining. However, when the loss is big and harrowing--life changing even--it’s a lot more challenging to accept that there may be a greater meaning.
But there is.
I’m not suggesting that if something tragic happens (or even something minor), you stuff your negative emotions and pretend everything is hunky-dory. Definitely don’t do that.
Feel your emotions and work through whatever comes up, be it painful, embarrassing, etc...allow yourself to feel what’s really there. But don’t get stuck there. Move through your emotions and allow yourself to release them, recognizing that feelings never last forever, they are fluid, so let them be and let them flow.
Once you have moved through the most painful point of the loss, you can start to look more objectively at whatever the situation is. With an outsider point of view, you have a better chance of finding the lesson. The learning experience. The answer to “why did this happen to me?!?”
Remind yourself that you never lose, you only win or you learn. And I’ll remind myself too!