On Winners Dealing with Failure, Lady Learning and Charming Mr. Bond
A winner is a man who has learned how to position himself correctly in relation to his past failures.
I heard it the other day and just loved it. Unlike the usual James Bond-like depictions, this piece of wisdom seems to give The Winner, my hero in today’s article, more reflective attributes, and not so much action. Yes, I know, that’s boring. No one would watch a 007 film to see Mr. Craig sitting at his desk and thinking. Sitting in his car and thinking. Or, worse, lying in bed and staring at the ceiling all night. And yet, the mission of a future Winner – who is now meeting with failure – could prove as difficult as those of charming Mr. Bond.
“Position himself correctly in relation to his past failures”. It states right from the start that winners, too, have made mistakes, have met failures and went through crises. Winners, too, had moments when they questioned themselves and their abilities. Yes, some of them even let the word ”looser” hover around for a little, while they were discouraged and just before they got back on track. Which means a winner now is someone who was once milled and polished, and against his best intentions and wishes. (Let’s be honest, who wants that?) A winner is not a “chosen one”, but a person who did his part in the work&luck equation and had to confront the uncontrollable, the twists and turns of life, just like anyone else. And, unfortunately, that’s usually not done riding cool motorbikes, flying helicopters and jumping from one high-speed train to another. Not to mention that, in real life, when things get tough, beautiful ladies aren’t so much – or sooo many – around.
In real life, a Winner is first and foremost a person who has the ability to reason; who is also not afraid to dig deep into the heart of the matter and be honest with himself. To me, a “correct positioning in relation to past failures” tells me that those of you who are now discouraged and feel like you have failed, are actually future Winners if you just:
- See a mistake/ failure for what it is and accept it as such. Bummer, but real!
- Take full responsibility for it. You have the courage to say ”Me, me, me!” in this situation as well.
- By being responsible, you empower yourself. You know that only those who never do anything are the ones who never make mistakes. (I’m thinking this should be part of a Professional Decalogue). You, on the other hand, are on a path of learning that will get you where you want to be. That’s what Lady Learning does. And She loves to win.
- By accepting your mistakes, you also prove you have the ability to recognize success and to tell right from wrong in your situation. Unlike those for whom there is always someone else to blame for things that don’t work in their life. Unlike those who steal ideas and like to take credit for someone else’s achievement. Why do you think these people do this? Because they don’t have the ability to build success on their own, but see it in you!
- A correct positioning means knowing what to do next or the next time a similar situation appears. That is why my hero today, The Winner, is comfortable with thinking. It’s like we were back in university and we had to take exams. We could have studied a lot, but unless we took time to carefully read and understand the enunciation of the test, we never got an excellent grade. So focus on what your failure tells you. Not on what you think about yourself because of it.
- Spend some time with your mistakes or failures. Don’t be so quick into “freeing” yourself from them. I know this is usually done by going straight in the opposite direction, or embracing the giver of quilt or laughter, depending, the mighty No. Never. I will never do this again. Not in this lifetime. Don’t they say that if you do the same thing twice and expect to have different results, you are crazy? Well, not me. I’m not doing that ever again. … only to redo it, of course, and simply because not enough time was given to read the fine print. You never know what it tells you. Sometimes, you need to try again, try harder. Other times, just rework on some nuances. Maybe you need to come with a different approach. And if you were waiting for this, yes, there are situations when you need to go in the opposite direction.
- Don’t come up with an all-encompassing rule for different mistakes or failures, unless it’s to treat each as a singular and unique event. There may be teachings that apply, teachings from past mistakes, but the enunciation of each mistake is still unique.
- And, please, don’t generalize! Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. In the face of failure, we feel frustrated and disappointed with ourselves and (why, oh, why?) have the tendency to look for other areas in our life where we’re also not happy, or fulfilled, or where things don’t happen as we would want them to. Don’t go there. Instead, remember that what you are going through is a natural and necessary step for profound and long-lasting development. Just a step, not a permanent state. Not to mention that no one has it all according to one’s wishes. We will always have parts in our life that we need to work on. And sometimes it just requires a bit harder work.
Returning to my favorite all time Bonds, I have sighed quite a few times for Mr. Craig. When he was in dangerous situations I mean. Even though I knew he always prevails in the end. My point? It’s all right to feel insecure and a bit scared if you have just failed at something. Just don’t get discouraged . You know what? Even if you have done repeatedly so. Because now you know what A Winner does to get back on track. And placing yourself in the company of Lady Learning, as unattainable as She might seem on a first date, is a great first step in an adventure that will ultimately lead you to success.
And you know what? If you ever decide to make a film about this thinking ride of yours, count me in! I’ll be your first buying viewer!
(foto: Întoarcerea din larg, Nicolae Tonitza)