The games we play always offer opportinites to grow and learn. The degree to which we embrace those opportunities and implement the lessons we learn is another story.
Usually, meaningful growth which has lifetime value is burried under a lot of hard work.
This work is hard because it tends to involve a lot of losing. Losing feels like crap, but it’s a necessary prerequisite to succeeding – to a point.
If the player’s experience involves too much losing, they stop playing altogether.
The trick then, is how do we play these games in a way which helps us enjoy the process of trying and failing?
I believe the answer is by reframing failure into feedback.
Feedback is information gathered from a negative source which offers positive change.
By taking the raw data in our losses, we can find ways to look at them which track the incremental steps we can take towards more frequent victory.
If you suck at tennis and you’re really focused on trying to win every match, you’re going to have a rough time.
But if you suck at tennis and you’re really focussed on returning more serves than you were able to last week, you might enjoy a victory even if you get crushed.
The match is no longer played just between you and your opponent; there’s a separate game being played between you and yourself, in which you have much greater chance at victory.
These micro victories compound on one another.
For one month your focus is on returning serves, the next it’s on your forehand, then you backhand, then all of a sudden you’re not so bad at tennis – which is a whole lot better than losing four out of five matches and then selling your racket on Gumtree.
When failure equals feedback, losing equals winning.