Monday, February 7, 2011

What I Learn from a Loss

It's no secret that I'm a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so their loss in the Super Bowl last night was pretty tough to swallow. I am too young to remember all of the Steeler Super Bowl victories from the 70's. I'm old enough to remember their 4 most recent Super Bowls: A loss in 1995, a win in 2005, a win in 2008, and a loss yesterday. It's definitely more fun to be on the winning side of things than the losing side of things, but their loss got me thinking about a couple of "life" observations.

1. Caring is worth it. If I didn't care about them as a team, then their loss yesterday really wouldn't bother me. Yeah, it would definitely be nice to wake up on the Monday morning after a loss and not feel down or angry or upset, but because I do care I feel down and angry and upset. It's really hard to see your team lose. But caring is worth it because it allows you to experience the highs as well as the lows. In life, we'll often keep ourselves distant from people or "hidden" emotionally because we don't want to open ourselves up too much. Sometimes in relationships we get hurt and often to protect ourselves from getting hurt again we keep ourselves distant and guarded and never open up. Sure, that will protect you from getting hurt but it will also keep you from experiencing the joy of intimate relationships. You can't truly experience the "highs" until you're willing to open yourself up to some potential "lows." Caring is risky ... but it's worth it.

2. You can only lose if you're actually in the game. Losing stinks! I'm just a fan and I'm totally bummed out. I can't imagine what the players must feel like. It stinks to lose but in competition someone wins and someone loses. That's just how it is. In life we'll have two choices: Get in the game or stay out of the game. The danger of getting in the game is that, yes, you may lose ... and it will hurt ... and it may take a while to get over it. But, you can never win until you're willing to open yourself up to a loss. If you're afraid of losing you'll never really do anything of significance. You'll just go through your life playing it safe all the time. Sure, you may not experience the pain of a loss ... but honestly you're not losing simply because you're not in the game. Not losing doesn't necessarily make you a winner. Some people are so afraid of losing that they simply won't do anything. You can only win if you put yourself in the game.

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