I never lose: I either win or learn

This past week I was talking to a friend about winning. And, not winning. See, we both love winning. We never lose until we do. We were prompted to have this discussion with each other because she took certain steps recently that some may have construed as letting others win. I had been told a similar bit by the same individuals a few weeks ago in a different situation but similar optics. But yet, my friend and I didn’t see things that way. We were both at peace and in a zen mode. How can one lose when the mind and spirit is calm?

I know this all sounds so abstract. However, I know you understand and get it. And, best of all Nelson Mandela framed this whole discussion for us many years prior when he noted “I never lose: I either win or learn.” For someone like me who likes to win, allowing myself to occasionally “fail” is empowering. But only if you can be humble and can reflect honestly on the event(s). Lessons learned shouldn’t just be saved for white papers and debriefing reports. I say, make a t-shirt or song (a la Taylor Swift) out of it. Better yet, use those lessons learned as inspiration to be the best “you” that can be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying turn the other cheek. That’s a whole other different conversation.

For today, I chose to be inspired by the great Nelson Mandela. Almost two years ago to the day, I was at a museum in Durban dedicated to him and I wanted to reflect back on that trek and keep the inspiration moving forward.

I love winning. It is about framing and following a path to your true self. And, it’s ok to learn. And, it’s ok to tell people you are ok with that. They can take their “losing” frame elsewhere.

11 replies »

  1. Wise man, Mandela. After a rocky start – or was it? It’s exactly my strategy – because losing doesn’t teach me anything useful, so it’s a waste of time.
    I’m the self-analytical type. Most people don’t seem to be. Or if they are, they don’t mention it and don’t appear to change their behavior based on thinking.
    I can’t stop myself. Thank goodness for writing fiction – that’s where I dump it all. I don’t understand how people can live without writing. They don’t understand me. It’s what it is.


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