Serena Williams once said: “I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how He teaches us.” No matter what faith you follow (or any lack thereof), those words should make sense.
We don’t learn anything from winning. Look at any sport celebrity who has managed to win their way into being “undefeated”. They end up spending the majority of their days trying to find something to fill the void that the challenge has left behind. More often than not, and not in every case, this leads to scandal or criminal charges. I use this as an example because they are usually the most prominent, and the public are generally the most aware of them, but this can also apply to all of us.
But so long as a person is hungry and willing to work hard, setbacks and challenges can lend the spice to life that is required to keep on growing. These are the thoughts that have been floating through my head in recent months. How much farther do I need to push in order to win against an opponent who should have never BEEN an opponent in the first place? So, does this mean I’m destined to lose?
I believe that at some point, every person should evaluate what they are doing with their lives, what contributions they are making and what the end result for themselves and their families might be. Change is good. There’s nothing wrong with change; it shows us that progress is happening. And sometimes that change comes in ways we would have never expected. After all, all things happen for a reason…
I’m not used to losing. It’s not something I’ve had to deal with. Maybe it’s my hard-headed nature or my stubbornness, but my track record for winning against any challenge I’ve faced so far is pretty decent. I have lived into my 40’s despite being told in my youth that I wouldn’t live past my teens. I obtained a black belt in karate after being told that I couldn’t train in the martial arts due to my Diabetes and my health. I also pursued my chosen career and obtained promotion sooner than most of my colleagues based on my own sheer force of will. But I am tired…
When I say I’m tired, I don’t mean I need a better night’s rest or a nap and I’ll be good to go. I mean my soul is tired. I wake most days feeling as though the weight of the world is resting on my shoulders and with every step that I take in my current battle, two more take its place as the next step.
Sun Tzu wrote: “The supreme Art of War is subduing the enemy without ever fighting.” Maybe that’s what I need to do in this instance. Winning may mean no longer fighting. Perhaps I need to lose in order to win. And there’s no shame in that. Ultimately, other challenges and other opportunities in life await. And I simply wouldn’t be me if I didn’t continue on the journey. ☯