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September 12, 2023
To play is to win. Not playing at all is the only way ever you lose.
Failure... is giving up. Not succeeding at the task is not the same as failure.
People often confuse not succeeding with failure. The truth is, I often don't accomplish my goals with my horse on a day to day timeline. I might overshoot and miss the mark by a longshot. In other words, I might ask my horse to do something he's not ready for and find myself backing away from my goals that day to something easier. That is NOT called failure!
Failure is refusing and rejecting the plentiful opportunities to try again tomorrow.
Here's something interesting about me... I'm extremely competitive. I love seeing my score on the board top the score of my opponent. It's exhilarating to feel like you conquered something. It's built right into our DNA, for many of us. So why do I also feel bad when my opponent loses? Because I empathize with the experience of someone who missed the mark.
I've been told my empathy is a weakness of mine. "Destroy the enemy without remorse," is a common theme for many people. On the other hand, graceful people, compassionate leaders, they all feel what I'm describing. They readily except to win and prepare to win, yet willingly share the spoils and praise to their opponent to ensure the game never stops. Because the game is the experience we seek, not the end result. I want people who have a lesser score to still feel like playing the game, is what it's all about. Because a sore loser is ultimately going to quit playing. And when you quit playing you fail.
What I'm saying is this. Just because you lose a game, or don't reach an outcome, doesn't mean you lose a lifetime of enjoyment and pursuit of greatness and a bank full of awesome memories. Just because you have a bad day, doesn't mean you lose everything you've worked for, and you should quit. Losing, is temporary. Playing is permanent.
On a deeper, harder, more heart wrenching note, I have two horses at the end of their life. I could focus on the loss or focus on the amount of joy and pleasure and progress and opportunity they both created in my life. So even when I lose them, I feel lucky, like I've won a lifetime of joy with them while they were here.
It feels permanent to lose someone or something you love. Ironically. Losing them doesn't mean losing everything. There is still so much love and vitality in the world around me. Plus, I believe there is more, beyond this life, so I believe, even if it "feels" permanent, it's not. Loss is temporary. Playing the game is a choice I can make every day. All of this means... you never really lose. And if you never lose... Then you always win!
Perception can be bent in many ways. I prefer to bend perception to my advantage. When I have a bad day, it's just a temporary setback. When I have a bad year, it's just a temporary setback. "Keep on swimming," says Dori (Finding Nemo). Life is AWESOME! Don't quit. Don't quit on your goals. Don't quit on your horse. Don't quit on your dreams! And when you lose, remember it's just temporary. You never really lose because you have tomorrow. So, try hard today. Succeed or don't succeed. Then try hard again tomorrow. Don't worry if you don't succeed. Don't stack up the reasons not to try again tomorrow. Just go with it. You got this!
Thanks for reading!
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