There is no Lesson without Loss.
Life is full of Winners and Losers. Life is full of wins and losses. Nobody wins all the time. Nobody losses all the time. Winners learn to lose less often. Winners learn from each loss. Winners learn from losing in practice until they can win more often during game time when it matters most. Winners learn from losses. The only real loss in life is losing the lesson. There is no lesson without loss.
Imagine for a minute that life handed you everything you ever asked for. Imagine if no one ever told you “No!” What would you learn? What kind of person would you turn into? Maybe the most important lesson in life is learning to lose, and then learn and then try again.
Think for a minute about the greatest athletes and the greatest teams of all time. Did they win every match, every game, every point, every time all the time? No, win streaks are rare at the match and game levels. Great coaches and great players break matches and games down to halves and quarters and points and plays. Do great teams and great athletes win every point and ever play? No, they win each point and each play, more often than they lose. This adds up to more games and matches won. Great teams can string together wins more often, sometimes winning 3, 4 or 5 times in a row. Great teams can put together win streaks of even 10 games or more. Streaks at this level become more and more rare. Rarely do teams go undefeated for an entire season. The more games you play in a year, the harder this becomes. Becoming great does not mean you never lose. Becoming great means you lose less often.
Great coaches and great teams break down matches and games down to plays. They practice learning to win. The may fail in practice over and over until they learn to succeed. Great teams learn to string success one play at a time until it turns into a win. Coaches study player’s strengths and weakness; and how they match up against other players to figure out a way to win. Games are won one point at a time. Success is created one day at a time.
If you are not making mistakes, you are not learning. Learning to lose and try again is very important to continued success. How often have you heard a great coach say their team handled adversity well? Adversity is loss, adversity is a tough time; handling adversity is learning to win.
No one wins all the time. They learn to lose, adjust and succeed in practice so they can win more often when in counts. Does it matter if it is a game, or a meeting or a day at work? If you had a big presentation at work next week, would you practice and run it by a few people before you present it to the boss or even the boss’s boss? If you were a new hire or a trainee wouldn’t you practice and learn your new job in a safe environment before being turned loose in the so-called real world? In each case, wouldn’t you break things down into simple steps or plays and practice them until you got them perfect. And then, when everything was on the line, would be able to recover from slip-ups or expect everything to go perfectly all the time?
Winners don’t win all the time. They learn from defeat and break things down to string together more wins than losses step by step, play by play. The only real loss is not learning from the loss. There is no lesson if you win all the time. The lesson is in the preparation. The lesson is from learning from the loss. You cannot spell lesson without loss. There is no lesson without loss.
Welcome to 60 seconds of Motivational Mojo. I do not expect you to learn the game of chess to be successful. This is the acronym C.H.E.S.S. – Challenge, Help, Excite, Scare and Sustain; do something that challenges, helps, excites, scares and sustains you.
The game of chess is a classic game of strategy and skill. Learning to play chess can help you think many moves ahead. You will learn how to use each piece in different situations. The acronym C.H.E.S.S. is something different. Do something that “Challenges” you. Do something that “Helps” you. Do something that “Excites” you. Do something that “Scares” you. Do something that “Sustains” you.
Do you want to be successful? The first step in success is to step out of your comfort zone and find a challenge. Find something that challenges you to get better than where you are now. Find something that will demand that you become better than you are today. When you learn the game of chess, you do not become a Master overnight. IT takes years of study. Do not be afraid of something that just requires you to put in extra time to learn and grow. Take it one day at a time and keep getting better. This is the first step in success. Step up to a new challenge!
Do you want to be successful? The second step is to make sure you are doing something that will help you. If you cannot clearly see how you will benefit from this new challenge, you run the risk of losing your drive and giving up. Set a clear goal that will illustrate how learning a new skill or becoming better at what you do will help in the long run. Set a goal and keep an eye on it. It will help you through those frustrating times when nothing seems to be going right.
You want to be successful, correct? Do something that excites you. Learning something new and challenging will take some time. This new endeavor may not bring immediate returns. Part of learning is that learning is its own reward. Imagine if you want to learn to play guitar. Before you will get paid to play the guitar, you will have to learn how to play and perform. The thrill learning to play new songs will keep you going while you learn to play the guitar. The same can be said for many skills that you will learn to become a success. Do something that excites you, helps you and challenges you.
Do you want to be successful? Do something that scares you. Winston Churchill said, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. For many of us, fear holds us back from doing what we always wanted to do. Sometimes we find things are easier than we thought they would be to learn. If knowing is half the battle, getting started may well be the other half. You never know until you try. Do not let fear keep you from trying.
Do you want to be successful? The final step is to do something that sustains you. Do something that will benefit you long term. Many successful people have stated, anything worth doing is worth doing for money. Another great quote is that if you a good at something never work for free. Maybe you agree with these statements, maybe you do not. I have discussed possible projects with very talented people who I respected and they said they loved what they were doing and did not want to turn it into work. They did not want it to feel like a job. So I asked them, do they love their job? Why not do what you love? Why do something you do not love for money so you can have the money to do what you love? What is the value of all of your time? Do something that sustains you!
If you have never played chess, I would suggest you learn. You do not have to become great overnight. Good things take time. My formula for success is C.H.E.S.S. do something that challenges you, helps you, excites you, scares you and sustains you. Then teach that to someone else!