I Wasn't Losing, I Was Learning How to Win


Your attitude towards failure is instrumental to your success.

Are you failing or learning how to win?

I was on my treadmill one morning when I saw Ted Turner being interviewed on CNN. The interviewer asked Ted how he kept going when his sailing team lost year after year and his baseball team was in last place for four years before going on to win the World Series.  How could he keep going when he seemed to be losing again and again?  Without any hesitation Ted said, “I wasn’t losing, I was learning how to win.” 

How’s that for a different approach to the situations we are all confronted with? If you’re in a job you hate, has that time been a waste or was it necessary for you to clarify what you really want to be doing? If you just had a business failure, have you lost “everything” or do you now know more about winning in business than you ever have? If your marriage is on the rocks are you losing or “learning how to win” in that important relationship?

It seems that I hear from a lot of people who are convinced they have wasted years of their lives pursuing the wrong career, sticking with the wrong job, or getting the wrong degree. Would you really have been able to discover the right career or job without that first experience?  Maybe we just need to “re-frame” some of our experiences. Trust me, it feels better to know that I am “learning how to win” than to think that I have spent time only to “lose.” Don’t get used to losing—it doesn’t have to endure forever. Even the sluggard college student eventually graduates. Mark your graduation date now and move on.

When I bombed in a business a few years ago, it felt like I was “losing.” But it didn’t take long for me to see lessons learned that I would probably never have seen if I hadn’t crashed to the bottom of the barrel. And that new learning allowed me to come back stronger and higher than before.

So if you just got fired, believe that you were “learning how to win.”  If you bombed on your golf game this weekend, understand that you were “learning how to win.”  If you hit your thumb with a hammer, think that you were “learning how to win.” If last week’s receipts for your business were $300 and your expenses were $500, believe that you were “learning how to win.”

Are you in the middle of a “learning how to win” experience right now?


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