Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

How Can We Benefit From Defeat? Loser or winner, which one do you want to be?

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” -Maya Angelou

Ralph W. Emerson wrote: “Our strength grows out of our weakness. A great man is always willing to be little. While he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits; . . . he has gained facts; learned from his ignorance; been cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.”

Winning, we all want to win. Nobody wants to lose. Few of us just do not care. We are naturally competitive and it starts early in life. Something as simple as playing with friends when we are very young can turn into a competition. The winner of the race across the yard is happy and expresses his joy with a happy smile and jumping up and down. The loser of the race is not smiling, may even be crying and is probably angry. Losing makes them feel bad. They do not like the feeling and they decide next time they will be the winner of the race.

Being defeated is never comfortable but it is always an opportunity. When we lose it is important to reflect about the why. Why did this happen, why was my opponent better, what did they do that I did not do? We need to evaluate our performance and find ways to improve.

When we fail the world does not end and life goes on. What we do with our failure will determine where we go from there. If we just accept our failure and decide, “that’s it, I cannot do any better” we have placed a limit on ourselves. We will become complacent and become mediocre. We will not improve.

On the other hand if we take the time to dissect our failure we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow and to become better.

“The taste of defeat has a richness of experience all its own. To me, every day is a struggle to stay in touch with life’s subtleties. No one grows without failing.”  

 Bill Bradley, former U.S. Senator and professional basketball player

Failure is a challenge. A challenge that only you can decide to accept or to deny.

I would not recommend denying a loss. Do not place the blame somewhere else. Own it and use it to become better.

When you accept the fact that you did lose you have already taken a step forward. It happened, this time someone else did a better job. Let’s face it, we cannot and will not win them all. It is realistic, and it is the best practice to understand that. You will be more open to analyzing what happened and learning from it. It will enable you to do a better job next time.

Life is all about lessons and learning. When we are working or playing there is always an opportunity to learn and get better. The good thing about losing is we pay more attention. Winning is great but when you are really good and win most of the time you tend to relax and just go along for the ride. There is no reason to practice or to try new things.

When we lose, it is like a kick in the gut. It makes you stand up and take notice. Loss makes you question yourself. What happened? Do you like the feeling of defeat? Hell, No!

When you have worked hard at something and end up not coming out on top it is extremely disheartening. It can suck the life out of you, cause anger and be the catalyst for depression. Case in point was my reaction for not having an article accepted which you can find here:

Defeat and anger can be used as a tool, a weapon. I was really pissed off but it made me just want to try again and again. It is an incentive. Use your anger and disappointment to improve. Work harder!

If you are angry good, that is not a bad thing. Use your anger to strengthen your will. Challenge yourself. Everything we do is constantly in flux and nothing is guaranteed. Take your anger and turn it into positive action.

Ask your self why you did not win. Be your own biggest critic. If you are working with a group, or have a mentor, ask for feedback. Look for ways you can improve the next time.

Dissect yourself. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses. We all have some of both. Remain positive and keep working toward being better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all wake up every day and ask ourselves what we are going to do better today. A tiny thing but just think about the possibilities.

Winning and being successful is not guaranteed. You have to be willing to put in the work. When I started my blog I had no idea the amount of work that is required to be successful.

I am a long, long way from success but I am passionate about my dream I continually work on remaining positive and having a great attitude. I always strive to be better.

I hope I have the right formula moving forward in my quest to be a writer, a good writer. If not then I will do some adjusting on my journey. I will put in the work. There will be more disappointments but with each I know I will learn from it and get better. I will be a better writer and a better person for the effort.

Hopefully, I can help influence you as well to stay positive. We may not always win but as long as we learn from our mistakes we are all winners. Always put in the best effort and always look for ways to improve.

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Have a great day!


Posted in Communication, Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Potential, Self Improvement

Expertise – How do you become an expert in your field ?

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” – Swami Sivananda

We all want to become proficient at something. It may be something in your personal life or your professional life. Usually there is a “spark” that is ignited within us when we find that one something that we love and want to do more of. Sometimes it is born out of necessity.

One of the first jobs I had was in the field of banking. I was young and although I always did my job well I never experienced a “spark”. It was purely a job and when I left to have my first job I told myself I would never go back.

Then 15 years later my world changed and it was a necessity to find a job so I could support myself and my 2 children. Guess where I landed?. Banking, of course. There was a bank right around the corner from where we lived. I could walk to work, go home on my lunch hour. The office closed at 3 and I could be home by 4. So, so convenient, so that is where I found myself.

Was there a “spark” ? Not yet, but that job was a necessity. I was pushed to make it more; I needed to make it more. Did I become an expert ? Heck no, but I did quite well. My driving force was providing for my children but it was also a personal need to become better, learn as much as I could and do the best job I could. I wanted to be respected and someone that others could learn from.

Could I have done more, accomplished more ? Yes, but my life changed and took me in a different direction. Truth be told I never truly found that “spark”. Not enough; it was more of an brightly burning ember. Was I ever disappointed ? Yes, of course.

If we never find a true “spark” that ignites us we can move forward and become an expert. It will be more difficult, but it can be done. Sometimes we will have an interest in a particular field and decide that is what we want to spend our time doing. It fulfills you in some way and you want to learn more. You want to learn as much as possible and you find the more you learn the more you want to continue learning. You may have self ignited a “spark”.

You may also be lucky enough to know what ignites you. You may have a passionate interest in a particular activity in your personal life or in a field of work to pursue in your professional life. Go for it, do whatever you can to learn and continually grow in that field. Your passion will propel you and make it easier to move forward.

Life really is a continual learning experience and there are many ways to add to your abilities and eventually find one day that you are indeed considered an expert. People will value your opinion and seek you out to ask you for advice. You may be asked to do speaking engagements, lead training classes within your field or be given the opportunity to write a book.

How do we get to that point ? What can we do to improve our knowledge and our position and become an expert ?

Learning. Learn as much as possible by taking classes, reading books and manuals, ask questions. Ask those that you know have more knowledge than you questions, lots of questions; perhaps ask if they would be a mentor.

Within the organization you work for ask for more training, ask to be sent to seminars and then ask if you can share what you learn when you complete it. Take online classes and take part in webinars. Soak up as much new knowledge on a continual basis and look for ways to apply it.

Look for contacts. There will always be people in your field that you can learn from. Stay in touch and learn from them. Everyone has a different approach and you may find someone else who has a better way of doing something or they have a good contact which they will share with you. Put yourself out there and build your reputation.

Do some writing. Perhaps a training manual and a complete program for implementing it in your organization. Start writing about what you do and publish articles in work related publications. You could, of course, write a Blog; why not ! Being recognized within your field is enhanced greatly by being a published author.

Never be complacent. Do not stop learning and always look for whatever is new in your field. Read, read and read some more. Be on top of your game and always seek to improve. Developing expertise will take time and a great deal of effort. You have to really, really want it and be willing to go the extra mile to accomplish it.

Sometimes I think we forget about basics like your ability to speak well in any circumstance or how we present ourselves. People will judge you by your appearance before anything else. Walk into a room and within seconds people have already formed an opinion about you. How you speak will be second so both are Very Important.

Learn to speak in public. Take speech classes where you have to present yourself in front of a group of people and keep doing it until you are comfortable doing it. There are many sources available online that will help you such as UTube and articles such as Start small if possible and practice, practice, practice.

Invest in your wardrobe. Buy a few basic quality pieces and add nice accessories and do not forget your shoes. Have your teeth whitened, have and maintain a manicure and a good haircut. As you can afford to, add more quality to your wardrobe and always maintain all of it. Make sure it is clean, there are no spots, no odor and no pet hair. Presentation is so important.

You are ready. Walk into any room with your head held high and confidence in you stride.

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.- Arthur Ashe

As Always, Thank You for reading my blog. Have a Special Day.

Comments are always appreciated. Thank You.