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Personal Best Karate

Four Ways Losing Helps us Learn

Posted: May 17, 2019

By Master Christopher Rappold

Learning to lose is arguably more important than learning to win.  Think about it: if Thomas Edison didn’t have the growth mindset and didn’t look at each attempt to invent the light bulb as one step closer to success we may not have enjoyed the invention of the incandescent light bulb in 1879.  So what are some things we can learn from this as adults and what are the lessons to pass onto our children?  

Feedback not Failure 
Well, first, depending on whom you listen to, Edison tried between 3,000 – 10,000 times before his invention had the outcome desired.   I don’t know about you, but I have given up more times than I care to admit after three or four attempts. Haven’t you done the same?  Growth is a process that requires feedback and has no room for failure.   Had Edison not intuitively known this he would not have felt compelled to play the long game and stay the course.  

Win or Learn
The natural human reaction by most people is to celebrate a win and ponder a loss.  What is most interesting about this is in the big picture many times is it is the losses that teach us the most.   As a parent, it is important to continue to teach our children in tests or in games to learn as much as possible from falling short.  It is the mistakes made when we fall short that help our next performance improve.

Take the Long View
Winning a game or scoring 100% on a quiz is great but is that the objective?  Maybe today it is, but in the long runit is one of thousands of experiences you will have on your way to maximizing your potential.  When one takes a longer view as a parent and communicates this view to their children it cuts down on the negative pressure that can hurt performance. 

Give your very Best
The goal each day is to give your very best to the activities you are involved in and, at the end of the day, if you did this you should be proud.  Stacking the habit of personal excellence one day on top of the next will eventually lead you to where you want to go.   Some get their way quicker than others, but everyone has the ability to arrive as long as they stay the course.  There is a saying, “Take care of the days and the years take care of themselves.” I believe this to be very true in becoming your Personal Best you.  

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