Most people see the world through the lens of success vs. failures, or winners vs. losers. While our world certainly has competitive aspects to it, it’s worthwhile to ask the following:
Is it useful?
Is it useful to think in terms of success versus failure?
Is it useful to think of winning versus losing?
Regardless of whether such paradigms are true or not, consider whether adopting these perspectives improves the quality and achievements of your life.
If it drives you to greater achievement, but you’re an emotional wreck during and after the journey, that’s hardly an ideal outcome.
Let’s take the concept of winning versus losing. An alternate approach that I find more useful is…
“You win some, you learn some.”
If you “win,” that’s great. If you don’t win, you get the opportunity to learn something and improve yourself.
I like this approach because it embraces a growth mindset (thanks to Carol Dweck for coining this phrase) and continuous improvement.
There’s no such thing as always winning in life.
The only way to avoid losing is to sit on your hands and do nothing. Every other endeavor involves taking risks and potentially dealing with non-ideal outcomes.
If effort always results in winning or learning, it makes sense to keep on going (and improving while you do).
This is more useful than quitting because you keep “losing” and presuming that losing has no benefit. It does, it’s just not as fun as winning.