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That ‘L’ Can Be Either a Lesson or a Loss. It’s Up to You

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

Let’s face it. We come upon some tough days and tough seasons in this lifetime which produce some tough lessons. It is one thing that is not avoidable. It is, in fact, inevitable.

But did you also know that you hold the key in how all of it serves you in life?

If I had to give you one characteristic of people who navigate those tough seasons skillfully, I would say most have the trait that is known as resilience.

The dictionary defines resilience as the ability to withstand or recover from difficulties. In a nutshell, it’s toughness.

I would call it the gift of being able to bounce back no matter what or who comes or goes and no matter what’s won or lost. Let me show you how it plays out in life.

A friend of mine shared a story recently that I still remember vividly to this day.

He told me about a team of young football players who, after making a valiant effort at winning a tough football matchup and making several dynamic plays, succumbed to a final loss in their game to a bitter rival.

With the way he recounted the story, the loss and disappointment was palpable. You could literally feel it as you listened and recounted how defeated those young athletes must have felt.

But you do know there’s a silver lining to this story, right?

Unbeknownst to the young grade-school players, a famous alum and professional athlete was in their midst and was watching the entire game.

He saw everything and dropped some post-game nuggets that I’m borrowing for myself.

That pro player came back to the locker room after the game and after a few gasps when they recognized his likeness, he dealt with the elephant of disappointment that lingered across the room.

After a short story, he concluded by giving them, of all things, a choice. He told them they could see their “L” as one of two things – either a lesson or a loss.

A lesson would allow them to make a different choice or alter some things that could lead to a better outcome the next time they played.

But, if they saw it as only a loss, it would imply that the time they spent on the field, the plays they made – both good and bad – and the game day lessons they learned, would all be counted as a loss. I think you know where I’m going with this.

That tough situation you just came through, or are currently in, or may soon face, can be counted as either a lesson or a loss.

You choose your perspective and you choose your next step. No one else can do that for you. I am not insensitive to the fact that we take some tough losses sometimes, but rather than lamenting that, why not use it as fuel to propel your next victory? You will at least know what not to do and there is enough value in that wisdom alone.

As always, I’m rooting for you and remember, I am just an email away. I am sending my best to you until next time

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears twice monthly online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.