Dealing With Defeat
Dealing With Defeat
A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:
The horn sounded and the referees blew the whistle indicating that the game was over. No more time. No more chances. No more hope. Done, finis, complete, unchangeable; the end. Arthur picked up his sweater and headed to the exit door along with the thousands of other disappointed fans. Their team had failed them and it hurt… Maybe next season.
Whenever defeat greets us, we have a chance to determine its ultimate impact on our psyche and decide what should happen next. Sometimes, in a moment, we know the answer and just as often we struggle with our options moving forward. Erasing the mark of defeat, be it a bad grade, a failed course, a lost client, or a broken relationship we are presented with options. Positive or negative, short term or long, the moment after a loss typically allows us to process a response. In that processing moment we get to choose our view of the world moving forward. This act of choosing our next disposition is one of the greatest gifts we all possess. In one simple, and sometimes elegant transformation we can emerge from defeat with a new sense of purpose and destiny, free to engage what’s next.
Leaving a loss behind is like shedding an anchor. It frees us to navigate new waters and new destinations. It opens our minds and eyes to new vistas and opportunities. A loss is often the propellant we need to see real gain and growth. The key is in how quickly we shed the weight of disappointment. Disappointment, if allowed to linger, is often the nadir that follows a defeat and that traps us in ennui and a sort of listless inertia. It’s a thick and debilitating time, that if not managed, will occupy our mindset and slow our heart’s next journey to what could be the flip side of defeat: victory.
Dealing with defeat, like Arthur in our story requires a true and sometimes elusive sense of hope. “Maybe next season,” is hope’s internalized metaphor for whatever we face and it can create a fire that negates defeat and fuels the win we seek, leaving disappointment behind and filling us with a sense of “I can do this.”
Szenippet: Defeat is an event and a catalyst for victory. Every loss has a corresponding gain and every doubt seeks an act of faith.