A few years back, I was talking with the kiddos about all thing’s life. Recently, some project I had been working on at the office didn’t turn out as planned. In the world’s eyes, I had ‘lost’. So, I wanted to offer my kids a different perspective on losing, so I asked them a question: “Fill in the rest of this sentence…You’ve either won or you ______” Within no time, Everett (probably 4 years old at the time) blurted out “Two!!!!”
After we all got done cracking up, I asked the question again. “You’re right Everett, 2 does come after 1, but I mean like winning a game. So, fill in the blank…You’re either winning or _____” Everett, now embarrassed, chose not to participate this round. So, the girls both shot their hands in the air…I called on Kya. She responded “Losing!”
“Wrong” I replied. All 3 of them looked at each other with confusion. I continued, “The correct answer is…You’re either winning or you’re learning.” I went on to explain that I refuse to be a loser. I try hard not to allow the mindset of failure enter my mind. Rather, I seek to turn these times into opportunities to learn. I reflect on them and process what didn’t go right, and how I can course correct next time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from perfect, I give myself plenty of opportunities to learn! I simply have chosen the mindset that I won’t accept losing.
It’s often said that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. “To the contrary”, he exclaimed, “I’ve simply found 10,000 ways that didn’t work!” In life, things happen, projects go wrong, progress is stopped, momentum is stifled. It’s easy to think of these as failures…as losing. They’re not. They are ways that didn’t work…they are opportunities to learn.
Now my kids are aware…and now, so are you, gentle reader…you’re either winning or you’re learning!