Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – employment, an advertising, your health, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the higher losing, but whenever we lose something, we feel it deeply.
A pal of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a large case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this is a most unusual experience. But what intrigued me was his attitude about any of it: “I can see where I made some mistakes. I am aware it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged the way the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t await my next trial – I possess some thoughts on what I could did differently, and I do want to see how they’ll play out.”
His is definitely an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. One that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe its not all time, but more frequently than not course in miracles author. It is well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all because of their attitude.
Many lawyers, in his position, would have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge if you are biased toward the other side, on the jurors for “not setting it up,” on their trial team if you are inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, figured out what was missing, and was rarin’ to take the next trial – so he could once again, win.
All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my means of thinking, a shift in perception (how you begin to see the loss) lays the groundwork for magic, for something to happen that will be better than what was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to master from the ability (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.
Once you look at your loss, whatever it’s, as permanent and all-encompassing, then affirmed, you’ll feel devastated and struggling to let go and move on. If, on the contrary, you appear at your loss – be it the increased loss of employment, a spouse, a client, your savings – as temporary, something to master from – then chances are excellent that you will have a way to maneuver onto even better things; to a “miracle.”
The only real change is in the method that you perceive the event, the loss. And that, unlike losing itself, is totally within your control. Buck against it though we may, we can always control what we think. No, it’s definitely not easy. I find it takes considerable effort to maneuver my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that will generate an improved future. But it’s doable.