I Wasn’t Losing……..

Yesterday morning I saw Ted Turner being interviewed on CNN.  The interviewer asked Ted how he kept going when his sailing team lost year after year and his baseball team was in last place for four years before going on to win the World Series.  Without any hesitation Ted said, “I wasn’t losing, I was learning how to win.” 

How’s that for a different approach to the situations we are all confronted with?  If you’re in a job you hate, has that time been a waste or was it necessary for you to clarify what you really want to be doing?  If you just had a business failure, have you lost “everything” or do you now know more about winning in business than you ever have?  If your marriage is on the rocks are you losing or “learning how to win” in that important relationship? 

It seems that I hear from a lot of people who are convinced they have wasted years of their lives pursuing the wrong career, sticking with the wrong job, or getting the wrong degree.  Would you really have been able to discover the right career or job without that first experience?  Maybe we just need to “re-frame” some of our experiences.  Trust me, it feels better to know that I am “learning how to win” than to think that I have spent time only to “lose.”  Don’t get used to losing – it doesn’t have to endure forever.  Even the sluggard college student eventually graduates.  Mark your graduation date now and move on. 

So if you just got fired, believe that you were “learning how to win.”  If you bombed on your golf game this weekend, understand that you were “learning how to win.”  If you hit your thumb with a hammer, think that you were “learning how to win.”  If last week’s receipts for your business were $300 and your expenses were $500, believe that you were “learning how to win.”

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8 Responses to “I Wasn’t Losing……..”

  1. Eric Says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I loved computer programming in high school in the 80’s. Unfortunately, computer programming didn’t seem a viable career choice at the time. Eventually I ended up going to college for something else and working as a police officer for almost ten years before I made a career change back into programming.

    I spent the “dot com boom” times when I could have potentially made a killing as a programmer working the mean streets instead. But, I also gained invaluable life experience in that job that gives me a significant advantage in what I do now as a self-employed programmer.

    For me, being a police officer was the right job at the right time in my life and I wouldn’t trade that experience and the lessons I learned for anything. Make the best of where you are today and don’t regret the journey that brought you here – you’re here and it’s what you do from today forward that counts.

  2. Jared Matthew Kessler Says:

    Well said Dan.

    I remember telling my “story” to so many people that I began to relive the flat tire every single time I told it. “Reframing something” so that it SERVES you, rather than hurts you is a VERY powerful tool that so many people very much underestimate, yet many leaders understand.

    I’m so glad to have met someone that is ALSO willing to share what is right, instead of what is popular. 🙂

    -Jared Matthew Kessler
    Author of “The Poet and the Billionaire.”

  3. Jay Peroni, CFP Says:

    Dan great post! This attitude that Ted Turner has is exactly what I have found in those who possess wealth and faith/ They look at the world through a different lens. On my blog today at http://www.jayperoni.com I sahred this quote:

    “If you suffer, thank God! — it is a sure sign that you are alive.” –Elbert Hubbard

    Through good and bad times, you can always learn something that God is teaching you. He is constantly preparing us for our next chapter. In order to win, you need to know the cost of losing. To gain life you need to know what it is to lose life. Thanks for sharing Dan!

    Jay Peroni, CFP
    Author of The Faith-Based Millionaire
    http://www.jayperoni.com

  4. Shelli Says:

    It’s a matter of seeing the cup as “half full” instead of “half empty.” I am the eternal optimist, but even I get down on myself sometimes, so seeing this was a good reminder! My exhusband used to say “the cup is too big.” Guess that was just HIS way of looking at it! 🙂

  5. Alex Says:

    What a great way to look at life! This year, I started an engineering degree, almost from stratch, just a few months after I got my general associate’s degree. I basically spent two years taking classes that are largely unrelated to my current degree program, but I was “learing how to win” in a college setting and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

    This year, I also endured two seasonal jobs that I came to hate. Through these jobs I was able to save up a sizeable chunk of money for school, yet I would place a much higher value on what learned from these experiences. I was “learning how to win” in ways that can’t be taught in the classroom.

    Ultimately, it was the combination of these experiences (and others too detailed to list here) at the right time that provided me with the absolute career clarity I enjoy today.

  6. GreatChristianMovies.com Says:

    There’s a lot of truth in that statement Dan, thanks a lot.
    It’s something we need to be reminded about over and over again.
    The times of failure are often the times that have the greatest potential for growth and learning, both personally and spiritually.

  7. Michael Says:

    Thomas Edison tried and failed 2000 times to invent the carbon fiber mono filament in a standard incandescent light bulb. When asked about it he replied, “I didn’t fail. I found out 2000 ways how not to make a light bulb. But I only needed to find one way to make it work.”

    This is a trait amongst people that understand that failure is just as good as, if not better than, success. There are some lessons that can only be taught by the cruel mistress of experience.

  8. I Wasn’t Losing…….. By Dan Miller « Technology, Investment & Management Says:

    […] You can access this article at https://48daysblog.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/i-wasnt-losing/ […]

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