Elegantly Losing


People who are best at life know how to lose.


They move more easily and elegantly through life. They acquire wisdom. They take bigger, smarter risks because they’re less afraid of failure.

Good losers take a long-term view, so they’re not shattered by disappointments no matter how dramatic they may seem at the time.

I consider elegant losing to be one of the most vital things to teach my teenager who lives in peer culture that values winning above all else.

We have an ongoing conversation about how anyone can be a good winner. But if you don’t know how to lose well you’ll get dragged down by life early in the game. You’ll start watering down your dreams to spare yourself the pain and discomfort of possible failure.

Successful people know failure is a safe friend. It’s a potent source of grit, knowledge, character, and humility.

Any wildly accomplished person I’ve ever met has more than their share of stories about misfires. They achieve greatly because they boldly try things, knowing they can bounce back if they fail.

Less successful people place undue importance on their latest success or failure. They let it define them, and this makes the ground they walk on far less stable.

Successful leaders define themselves by the journey, not any fleeting moment of glory or disaster.

Think of your most recent failure. How easily did it come to mind?

Write a list of at least three things you can learn from the failure.

Then let yourself off the hook, do not mull over the failure–move on and learn from your mistake.

If you liked this blog post, you'll love my book Lead.

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