Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – work, a promotion, your wellbeing, 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 buddy of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a big 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 this: “I can see where I made some mistakes. I understand it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged how the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t watch for my next trial – I involve some ideas on what I really could did differently, and I wish to observe how they will play out.”
His can be an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. The one that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe don’t assume all time, but more frequently than not. It’s well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all due to their attitude.
Many lawyers, in his position, would have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge to be biased toward one other side, on the jurors for “not getting it,” on the trial team to be inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, figured out what was missing, and was rarin’to go on the next trial – so he could yet again, win.
All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my way of thinking, a shift in perception (how you see the loss) lays the groundwork for magic, for something to happen which will be a lot better than what was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to understand from the knowledge (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.
Once you look at your loss, whatever it is, as permanent and all-encompassing, then sure enough, you’ll feel devastated and unable to release and move on. If, a course in miracles lessons on youtube on the contrary, you look at your loss – be it the loss of work, a spouse, a client, your savings – as temporary, something to understand from – then chances are excellent that you will have the ability to move to better still things; to a “miracle.”
The sole change is in the manner in which you perceive the function, the loss. And that, unlike losing itself, is completely within your control. Buck against it though we might, we could always control what we think. No, it’s certainly not easy. I find it will take considerable effort to move my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts which will generate a much better future. But it’s doable.