Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – work, an advertising, your health, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the higher losing, but if we lose something, we feel it deeply.
A buddy of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a huge case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this is a most unusual experience best acim podcast. But what intrigued me was his attitude about it: “I could see where I made some mistakes. I am aware it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged the way the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t wait for my next trial – I possess some applying for grants what I could did differently, and I do want to observe they will play out.”
His can be an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. The one that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe don’t assume all time, but more often than not. It’s well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all due to their attitude.
Many lawyers, in his position, might have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge to be biased toward another side, on the jurors for “not setting it up,” on the trial team to be inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, found out what was missing, and was rarin’ to go on another trial – so he could once again, win.
All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my method of thinking, a shift in perception (how you start to see the loss) lays the groundwork for magic, for something to occur which will be a lot better than what was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to learn from the ability (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.
Whenever you look at your loss, whatever it is, as permanent and all-encompassing, then sure enough, you’ll feel devastated and struggling to release and move on. If, on the contrary, you appear at your loss – be it the increasing loss of work, a spouse, a customer, your savings – as temporary, something to learn from – then chances are excellent that you will be able to go on to better yet things; to a “miracle.”
The only real change is in the manner in which you perceive the function, the loss. And that, unlike losing itself, is totally within your control. Buck against it though we may, we could always control what we think. No, it’s definitely not easy. I find it takes considerable effort to go my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that may generate an improved future. But it’s doable.