// you’re reading...

Beating the Odds

Learning How to Win

“Forget perfect on the first try.  In the face of frustration, your best tool is a few deep breaths, and remembering that you can do anything once you’ve practiced two hundred times.  Seriously.” — Andrea Buchanan, author, the Daring Book for Girls

Do you have to lose in order to learn how to win?

That’s what the Pittsburgh Penguins are hoping as they enter a rematch with the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals.

Last year the Red Wings won the best-of-seven series in six games, and the Penguins are pointing to that series as the education they need to get to the top.

The question is: Do you really need to lose in order to learn how to win?

There’s evidence to support both sides of the argument. The Kansas City Royals won the 1980 World Series, but not until after they lost three heartbreaking playoff series to the New York Yankees.

On the other hand, the New York Jets won the 1969 Super Bowl in their first appearance. They certainly didn’t need any painful learning experience. And the Penguins themselves won the Stanley Cup in their first trip to the finals — in 1991.

So what conclusions can we draw? Do you have to lose in order to learn to win?

It turns out that the answer is yes — but not in the way that you think.

People who win have been learning from defeat for a long time. They make adjustments. Champions in any area — music, art, sports — became great by putting in hours and hours of practice, and by correcting mistakes.

Trouble is, this is easier to say than to do. Mistakes can be frustrating. So can losing. Many people get so frustrated that they cannot make the necessary corrections. They let frustration win.

But winners are different. They can step back from defeat and become fascinated, not frustrated. They take a deep breath and fix the mistake.

This process of trial and error is how babies learn how to walk and talk. Imagine if at the age of one year old, babies got so frustrated at falling down that they decided that they just couldn’t do it! No one would ever learn to walk!

Of course, that doesn’t happen. Babies keep trying. They are so focused on learning that there’s no time to get frustrated.

What if you could be so hungry to learn that you didn’t have time to be frustrated?

You would win more!


No comments for “Learning How to Win”

Post a comment