There are few shortcuts on the road to success. There are even fewer shortcuts that’ll actually lead to long-term success. While there are other ways to achieve being a winner, sometimes the best way is to be a loser.
I think about some of the things I am good at now. One example is Ping Pong. When I worked for a hockey team we had a Ping-Pong table in our locker room. There we’d spend a countless number of hours battling each other at all hours, often late into the night.
At first, I could barely keep the ball on the table. I’d be beaten 21-5, if I was lucky. I must’ve lost about 300 games in a row, as I’d watch the other players battle in close games. It was a little frustrating, but I kept playing.
Soon the scores would be more around 21-10, 21-15, and then I’d get even closer. Many months and matches into our season, I was somehow getting better, despite all the losing. Then, finally, I won my first game 23-21. It was after midnight on some random night, and I was elated to finally be competitive now.
The best part was, I didn’t really stop there. I continued to win, and became quite difficult to beat. While I lost occassionally, I started to win more games than I lost. It felt like I hardly lost at all. Still, to this day, I remain pretty good at Ping Pong.
When people ask what the secret is, I tell them to lose.
Before you can be a winner, it’s best to be a loser.
When you lose a lot, you learn how to lose. By that, I mean being a good sport. It’s important to keep calm and lose gracefully, so the same can be done when we finally win. A loser knows what it is like to be a loser, and (hopefully) remembers that when they are looking at a person who has lost.
When you lose, you also learn how to win. What am I doing wrong? What do I have to learn? Should I do something different?
Practice doesn’t make perfect, unless it’s good practice. So keep losing. Then, be a winner.