Actually there are several lessons taught by the strict and Spartan teacher, Losing. Our soccer game yesterday inspired this post, but I’m hoping that it will get us through this rebuilding season, ie, losing season. I try to be a cup-half-full thinker.
1. I am a work in progress. No one is finished or perfect. Unless I’m at the olympics, losing shows the reality of my need for improvement, hard work, and humility.
2. Excellence has its origin in loss. The Bible puts it like this, “All achievement and all toil springs from one person’s envy of another.” (Ecclesiastes 4:4) How do I envy someone, until I lose to him? Or her. Losing inspires me to be better.
3. The end does not justify the means. Machiavelli wasn’t interested in learning lessons of any kind when he coined the phrase stating the opposite. He wasn’t interested in fair play or integrity or civility. We can thank him for inspiring Hitler, among others. So in my play, in victory and in defeat, the means matters. During a loss it’s even more important that I hold on to my sportsmanship. Losing is a challenge to be chivalrous.
4. Joy comes from who I am not how we do. We have a 50-50 chance of losing any game. If my happiness rests on winning, then I’ll only be happy half the time. Again, unless I’m in the olympics. Even they come away with a silver sometimes: a loss if you’re a cup-half-empty person.
As I consider our season ahead, I thought it would be helpful to appreciate loss, since that may be what we have in store this season. I’m sure there are more lessons to be learned from loss, and I would love to hear others. What have you learned from losing?
*Update 9/29/13* Thanks to the nicest soccer moms I know for their comments on fb & email! They follow.
Lori says: Great writing Kelly! We tell Ryan…you will win, you will lose, but you will never quit:)
Janette says: Love it! That’s what I like about them, they never give up.
Csilla says: I consider both winning and losing a necessary experience to build our character. We need to handle both situations with dignity and respect. Loosing doesn’t make you instantly as happy as winning but it can inspire you to work harder and want to be better. I believe that if you look at it with the right attitude, you can learn from loosing and it makes you a stronger person.
The boys are playing in the First Division with a team that almost completely fell apart. Since last season, we have lost the coach and 5 boys from the team. This season will be a challenge to prove that they can build a team and work hard together.
Today is a new day with an other game with a 50-50 chance. As long as they are not giving up and they will be trying their best till the final blow of the whistle, I will be happy with it. :))
Colleen says: Hello Kelly! I actually read this a long time ago and had trouble coming up with a response! Of course it’s not because I am without loss. I know everyone has had the experience at one time or another. Honestly, I am sad and hurt that we have lost our coach and some amazing players, but I am grateful that we were all part of such a wonderful team. Those kids were truly team players and a lot of that type of coaching comes not only from the coach himself, but from the parents. Isn’t it wonderful to go to each game feeling excited to watch the team play AND to sit with and talk with such a nice group of parents? Here’s to rebuilding the team into everything they know they can become! Here’s to forming friendships along the way! Here’s to the “magic” of a new season! 🙂