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
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.