What are some good ways to deal with defeat?
Dealing with defeat is something we constantly have to do in life. Everyone does. All the eight billion people of the earth have to do this. At least to me, this is a comforting thought. Knowing that I’m not the only one struggling with this, brings me a warm feeling of togetherness. In any case, having a big perspective will help when dealing with defeat.
What is defeat? Defeat occurs when I don’t reach a desired outcome and feel hurt about it. Thus, the requisites for defeat are cumulative; (i) the failure of a desired outcome and (ii) the hurt feeling. Both need to be fulfilled in order to be called a defeat (otherwise, we would not recognize it as such).
When breaking it down like this, it becomes obvious where we should put our effort. Let’s discuss each of the requisites in more detail.
- A desired outcome is a figure of my mind. My mind tells me that I need to win, need to get this job, this relationship, etc. Observe this frame of mind. It’s nothing but a picture frame inside my mind, a story, it’s like air. It’s nothing really. Let’s say I could let it go or soften it up, wouldn’t that be nice? If I did, I could easily accept that things are ok whether or not what that frame dictates is fulfilled or not?
- The hurt feeling. What is that? It is actually merely the echo of my attachment to the desired outcome. The more I have invested my idea of self-worth into the desired outcome, the more likely I will experience the hurt feeling. The idea of self worth in this sense can be called pride. What if I could let go of my pride, wouldn’t that be soothing?
By meditating you can work on both these aspects. You observe and look at the desired outcome and you let it go. As you let it go, your mind will easily be able to adapt to whatever the outcome is, even though it’s not the one you had hoped for in the beginning.
The pride-derived hurt feeling can also be discarded with meditation. We can use meditation to look back on ourselves, our self-importance, our fear of failing, our desire to be right or to be admired. That’s all ego stuff. We can let it go with the meditation and thus become free.
When we become free from both the desired outcome and the pride, we start to see things from a new perspective. We stop thinking in terms of wins and defeats. Everything becomes a flow. Everything is desired because it is what it is. A life of flow is the end result – until you have reached that, you will be defeated. And that is a good thing.
PS. Take a minute and check out the video below. Defeat is merely a perspective. If we don’t have the perspective of defeat, defeat doesn’t exist.