May 12
What is defeat?  Nothing
but education, nothing
but the first step toward
something better.

Wendell Phillips


Today's Meditation:

Over and over again in life, I face defeat.  Things that I attempt fail; things that I want to have happen, don't; things that I push for are rejected by others; circumstances outside of my control force awful things to happen in my life. . . you get the idea, of course, because the same things happen to you.  But each time they happen, we have a choice as to how we'll face those defeats and how we'll react to them.  If we allow them to knock us down, it's important to remember that we have allowed them to do so.

But no matter how difficult they may be to cope with, defeats have silver linings.  For most of us, just getting to the point at which we face defeat has meant a lot of work, a lot of perseverance, and a lot of gumption.  We've reached a point at which we can be defeated because we've dared to risk and we've put our best foot forward in an effort to accomplish something important.  When defeat happens, if we look at what has occurred and we figure out why we've ended up being defeated, we can learn also what has gone right, and just how defeat happened.

As Wendell says, defeat can be a "first step towards something better."  If we learn the lessons that it has to teach us, we can use those lessons in our next attempt at success; if we approach our next risk knowing what we now know, our chances of succeeding are definitely greater.

We will face defeat.  I enter everything I do knowing that all does not end up in success.  If I keep this in mind, I can pay attention to what I do and notice how it affects the tracks that things are on, and I can see later what changes I can make to improve my chances for avoiding defeat later.  Though a defeat later, of course, will bring new lessons all its own. 

Questions to consider:

Why do we tend to have such a negative view of defeat?

What important lessons have you learned from defeat in your life?  Would you have learned them if you hadn't faced defeat?

How can we be sure that we recognize and learn from the defeats in our lives?

For further thought:

In every adversity there lies the
seed of an equivalent advantage.
In every defeat is a lesson showing
you how to win the victory next time.

Robert Collier


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