There’s a moment we’ve all experienced. It feels like a knot in your stomach. Your chest gets tight and words, let alone the right ones, can’t find their way to your lips. The world comes to a halt, Earth stops spinning, and nothing moves. It doesn’t seem real, like a bad nightmare fantasy come to life. It’s the moment you realize you’ve lost.
You’ve lost close and you’ve lost big. You’ve lost a little and you’ve lost a lot. Sometimes it happens early, almost as soon as you begin. Sometimes it happens late, just as you thought you were about to win. Some losses come at the hands of great competition and some losses come at the hands of fate or luck. We try to win and we never want to lose, but we do.
When you lose, what you do next matters. There is a decisive moment after defeat. Future wins depend on how you respond to today’s losses. Does that deep pain poison your mind or fuel your heart? Does disappointment steal your spirit or energize your effort? Does failure stop you from trying or move you to get better?
You are going to lose because that’s just what happens in this world we occupy. No matter who you are, what you do, and how much you win, eventually you lose. It is the end of one moment and the start of the next: that decisive moment after defeat.