We’ve been working through some of Vince Lombardi’s quotes, but I’m really struggling reconciling his approach to life with how I’m feeling this week. So, I’m switching horses mid-stream. When I asked a friend to give me a theme for the quotes this season, she first suggested Lombardi. And then followed that up with, “Or, Maya Angelou” I’m feeling a lot more Maya this week, so we’ll spend the second half of the series working through few of her thoughts.
The first one is, “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”
Defeat is not the same as defeated. The longer version of the quote goes on to tell us to get up after a defeat. That only by getting up after small defeats do we learn courage. Which is ridiculously ironic, because Vince Lombardi said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” So, this is an appropriate transition quote that they both share.
Having the courage to get back up after being knocked down is a big deal. You’re defeated only if you stay down or don’t try again. But, what I really want to mention is a mindshift in thinking about defeat that helps to keep it from turning into defeated.
If your goal in life is to be successful, then all defeats will be very difficult to deal with. if your goal in life is to raise successful kids, then every defeat (both theirs and in your parenting) will be very difficult to deal with. If your goal is success then defeat is hard to handle.
But, what if your goal wasn’t success? What if your goal is learning? If the goal is to learn, then every defeat is supremely valuable, because each defeat teaches us something valuable. It’s not just semantics. Traveling through life with a focus on learning promotes a whole different lifestyle than one focused on success. This concept is probably worthy of a normal episode when I have a chance to talk about it longer, but for now, I’ll just introduce the idea.
It’s much easier to get back in the game after defeats if you’re treating them as a valuable commodity for improvement than as a stumbling block in your path. What defeat are you experiencing as stumbling block that you could learn to see as a learning tool?
How could reframing your goal from success to learning help you on your journey?