09/07/2016 01:17 EDT | Updated 09/07/2016 01:17 EDT

The Strength We Need Lies In Losing, Not Winning

Fairfax Media via Getty Images
(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Commonwealth Games 2006. Australia's Patrick Johnson after finishing in fourth place in the Men's 200m final during the Athletics Competition at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, 23 March 2006. NCH Picture by DARREN PATEMAN (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

My friend messaged me recently and said, "Ian, why is it that the younger kids coming up today do not like to give their all playing sports like we did?" I had some dots connect in my mind about this, and I realized that it has everything to do with CONTROL and FEAR.

When someone texts, emails or DMs you, they give you the power. We can sit there and think about what to say, we can not respond, we can do whatever we want, but an immediate answer is easy to escape. That's one reason digital communication is not the same as being on the phone or talking face to face.

We can post a picture on social media, and if it does not get the likes we want, we can take it down, we can add filters to images instantly, we can keep taking pictures until it is just right. It gives us a sense of control over the outcome.

When he asked me this question, it reminded me of the purpose of learning to lose. I remember when I was a little kid and we would lose football games 53-0 and my body would be in so much pain after. Do you remember this type of experience?

There was NO control

There was NO reset button

There was NO hiding


Sometimes that is how life feels, right? It seems like everyone else is scoring and you can't even find the end zone. How can you work so hard to get embarrassed and beaten down in this manner?

We have to keep teaching ourselves how to deal with losing.

How to be disappointed that it didn't work out how we expected.

How to get punched and walk forward regardless.

Losing is real life!

Think about it. What percentage of the time do things work out just like you thought they would? Everything working out to plan almost never happens, but it does not mean we can't be happy with the results. You don't have to get used to losing, but you need to be able to handle it.

Otherwise, you grow up sheltered and thinking that you will get every job that you apply for. You think that every boss you have will like you or that rainbows always show up after it rains. The truth hits you hard, and you don't know how to take it. When I teach students how to reach their full potential, I can tell which ones have what it takes simply by how they handle their first setback. You have to buckle down and really give yourself no option but to figure it out.

Sometimes it is easier not to try because you feel like you're going to fail. You feel like your going to lose, but this is what life is about. Those failures, those bumps in the road, THEY MAKE US! To have so much talent and use none of it because of a fear of it not working out is something we will continue to see. We should not encourage our youth just to win, but we should help them when they lose and help them learn how to get back up.

We don't need to have control of the outcome. What we need is to be willing to give our all and see who we can become in the process. In the course of giving your all your turn into someone, you never thought you could be. You grow and learn that there is nothing that can stop you.

The only way to be REAL is to accept that you're going to lose a lot and as a result, you're going to be stronger. There is a really good reason that I wrote a book about how to Endure. The ability to get punched in the mouth and keep going is one of the most important for success.

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