February 9

Today's quotation:

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not
be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter
the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you
can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Maya Angelou

Today's Meditation:

Not every experience in life can be a "victory."  We can't get all the promotions, new jobs, winning seasons, personal records, or small achievements that we strive for.  And that's more than okay--it's important to us to have setbacks sometimes.  If other people imply that a defeat is reflective of who we are as people, then those others are simply wrong.  And isn't that what we fear about defeats--the way that others will see us for having been defeated?

But the true reflection of who we are--or who we are becoming--is seen in the ways in which we deal with those defeats, not in the defeats themselves.  If we allow them to keep us down, then that's something of our own doing.  If we learn from them and move on and put our energy and effort into something new and different, then we're taking something from the situation and learning from it, allowing it to be a teacher rather than a source of discouragement.

The greatest lessons in my life have come through what other people might have called failures or defeats.  In fact, I often saw them that way myself until enough time had passed for me to understand what I had gained from them.  Now that I see their value, I'm thankful for the defeats, and I'm also grateful that I didn't allow other people's opinions to determine how I felt about myself or my actions.

There will be more defeats in my life.  I've sent tons of letters to agents and publishers, but no one is representing or publishing my novels.  Every time I make up a new packet to send to an agent, I realize that I'm probably going to be looking at a new defeat, but that's okay--I still make up the packets and send them.  If I don't, I let my defeats of the past determine my actions of the present--and that's not fair to me, now is it?

Questions to consider:

How do you view defeats in your life?

What can we learn from a defeat that we might not learn from a victory?

As valuable as they might be, why may we want to minimize the number of defeats that we experience?

For further thought:

You can learn a line from a win and a book from a defeat.

Paul Brown



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