Dealing with Defeat

image courtesy of: www.fillthefunnel.com

image courtesy of: www.fillthefunnel.com

As much as we might want to refute it, defeat and failure are a part of life. There is nobody out in the world that doesn’t experience these things on a rather constant basis. The thing that sets one person apart from another is not if they get back up from getting knocked down, we all do eventually,  but instead how often and how quickly they get back up. The simple fact is that we will get knocked down time and time again, in our lives, and will have a choice as we pick ourselves up. Some people out there will choose to abandon the struggle and stop striving to grow and reach for their dreams. Since those people aren’t here learning to reach their goals, we don’t need to spend time on them. Rather, the rest of us are going to get back up and continue to strive. So the difference is going to come in how we go about continuing to grow and learn.

The real measure of our success in reaching our goals is going to be in the measure of how quickly we are able to get back to our feet and dive back into the fray. Those that get up quickly and get back into quickly are those that are going to achieve their goals quickly and continue to move on in their lives and on their journeys.  Those that take substantial time to get back into it are going to lose momentum and struggle to get back into the rhythm of things. As such, it is going to take more time and more effort to get to the same point. They will still get there, but it is going to require a much deeper investment than those that are able to get right back into it. The good part about this is that we can train ourselves to get back into the fray as soon as possible.

This is just another tool that we can develop with effort and mindfulness. Next time we get knocked down, we don’t need to dwell on if we are going to get back into it, we already know that answer is yes. Instead we should look at where we are and the hurdles that are in the way of us getting back into sooner rather than later. What is going on in our hearts and our heads that is keeping us from diving back in as soon as our feet hit the ground? These are the questions that are going to allow us to work on reducing the time it takes us to get back into the journey, to get back into growth and joy of our lives. This reflection will help us to reduce the time we spend on the ground after we get knocked down and as a result will reduce the amount of effort it takes us to get back to where we were on our journey.

This past weekend, xiaoyi and I went camping together and just as we were about to set up, it rained.  Now while we waited for the rain to stop we could have mopped and fussed about how miserable it was to sit in the cramped car and how lousy the timing was for the rain and such.  We probably could have carried that misery with us through the entire storm and through the set up afterwords.  After all according to our plan, we would have been set up by now and eating.  Instead, we got back up.  We started talking about some of the fun things we were hoping to do this trip and how excited we were about it.  We found ways to laugh at the storm and turned it into a big joke about how we must have needed a break after the long drive.  And sure enough, when the rain did let up, we were laughing as we set up camp.  

Next time that world drives you to the ground, don’t worry about if you will get back up and keep going, but rather take it as an opportunity to learn how to get back on your path faster and with more vigor than you might have otherwise. We will get to our goals, now we are developing ways to deal with the pitfalls and delays in a more effective and empowering manner.

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