In martial arts, as in life, there are many occasions where a student may “win” or “lose”. This may occur at gradings, tournaments and demonstrations to name but a few. All of these events take training and preparation. After putting in all of the effort, it is finally time to step onto the floor. Others may judge and determine a winner on one front, but more important is how the student perceives his own success or failure. Only the student can determine if they have won or lost, and whether they remain a winner or loser after the fact. This “win” or “loss” has a much farther reaching effect depending on how the student deals with it.
A win can be a win, a loss can be a loss, a loss can be win, and a win can be a loss. The idea, of course, is to turn any experience – win or lose – into a win. The key to success in this regard is not to dwell on it. And by that I mean not to dwell on losses OR on wins.
A student who has lost, or failed to accomplish something in an event can, in fact, lose twice with the same blow (a two time loser). He may dwell on a loss and judge himself based on that sole performance. He then doesn’t learn from the experience and build on it. Instead he gives up and writes off all future endeavors.
A student who has won, or accomplished something in an event, can be a loser too. He may dwell on the win and judge himself on that sole performance. He doesn’t learn from or build on the experience. He looks back on it as his “glory days” and never achieves any more than that. He gives up and looks back with a somewhat fond memory. He is never remembered by anyone and never achieves what potentially could have been.
A student who has lost, or failed to accomplish something in an event can be a winner. He doesn’t dwell on the loss. He writes this performance off as “just a bad day”. He learns from and builds on this experience. He analyzes and works on the lacking areas in the here and now and gears towards the future. He sees the bigger picture and lasting gory. He will keep working towards and will reach it no matter what.
A student who has won, or accomplished something in an event can win twice in the same breath. He celebrates his win in the here and now, but does not dwell on it. He does not base his worth on this sole performance. He knows a loss can come. He knows that there is always improvement to be made. He does not allow ego to overtake his being. He lives in the “glory days”. He does not look back on them. He learns from the experience and builds on it, always seeking the next win.
A winner is determined regardless of success or failure in a particular endeavor. He learns from the experience either way. He uses the experience to catapult himself even further ahead while others go sliding back.
A loss should not be dwelled on, but neither should a win. Dwelling on a loss holds a student back. Dwelling on a win holds a student back. The past can be crippling regardless of what your achievements may have been. Revel in the moment, but move on and look towards the future and what will be not at what once was. As the saying goes, “You are only as good as your next win.”
Achievers and go-getters only see in front of them. What lies ahead is always bigger and better than where they have been, no matter how good it has already been.
Don’t dwell on it, deal with it.