Is It Better To Have Loved and Lost Than Never To Have Loved At All?
I was asked this interesting question recently, and then my favorite motivational speaker’s daily motivational minute arrived this morning. The motivational YouTube video challenged me to overcome my fears and act decisively because the reality is that if we don’t, we have lost by default. Life is like that, isn’t it? So much to fear, so much to learn, so much to be challenged with. So, given that background, here is my take on how to think and how to proceed from here…
It was many years ago, and I was attending a summer wrestling camp in Northern Wisconsin, on the peninsula of Door County. One of the coaches was talking to the athletes about strategy, and he encouraged us to be aggressive, to be bold. He said, with an impish grin, “Faint Heart N’er Won Fair Woman!” as a proof point of his recommended strategy. I thought for a moment about that, and concluded that given a choice between being afraid to go after what I most wanted and boldly going after it with all of my heart and soul, I would always choose to boldly pursue the dream.
Up to that point, I had been very conservative in my approach to wrestling, and there was much room for improvement in my results. It is safe to say that previously, I often wrestled not to lose, rather than to wrestle to win. So, I decided a change was in order, and I promised myself I would be bold from that moment forward. This simple change in strategy became a Godsend for me. The next year, I entered high school, and for the first time in my wrestling career I began to advance, to challenge my opponents and to look for good opportunities to strike and to take advantage of their defenses. To put it mildly, a simple change in strategy made an incredible difference in the results.
So, back to love. How to think about love? Is it worth it to put yourself out there to give yourself a chance at real happiness and love? In my experience, to do so puts you in harm’s way. Pursuing love is to open yourself to the very real risk of rejection. Well, in my lifetime, I have certainly tasted victory and had my nose rubbed in defeat. I have been fortunate to have enjoyed great love that has brought me a lovely wife and three fantastic sons. I have also been rejected and disappointed. Given the ecstasy of love and the bitterness of heartache and heartbreaking rejection, there is no comparison for me. A lifetime lived without love would be a crushing defeat, in my view. Playing it safe seems like a safe strategy, but in the end, it guarantees defeat. From my point of view, the only strategy that gives you the best chance to slip on that championship ring is bold action, designed to win the heart of your “Fair Woman”, to use the wrestling coach’s analogy.
Don’t settle for second best, or for the safe route through life. Everybody deserves to taste the sweet taste of victory, and everybody deserves to bask in the glow of love. Give yourself a chance at success, and leave your comfort zone, and your safe strategy behind. Identify something that you really want, and devise a bold plan to take action, today, to make the first step toward making it yours. You will naturally have to take some risks and overcome your doubts about whether you can prevail. That’s to be expected. Take that first step outside your comfort zone and see what you are capable of. You may fail a time or two. That’s OK, that too is to be expected. But, if you get into the habit of looking for opportunities to advance and to boldly compete for what you desire, you will engage your mind in the effort to find a way to win. In time, there is a very good chance that the learning capability of your brain and the law of averages will combine to put you in a position to win.
So, go ahead, risk rejection. Ask yourself what you would rather have, a lifetime of playing it safe, and never tasting the sweet taste of love and victory? Or would you rather revel in the challenge, and engage in the struggle to find a way to win? I hope that for you, the taste of victory is very sweet, indeed. I wish you great success in your struggle to find a way to win.
OK, so, what’s your take? Is it better to play it safe and avoid rejection? Is it best to keep your expectations low, and avoid disappointment? Or, do you, like me, feel like the best things in life are worth fighting for? I’d love to hear your viewpoint on this age-old question.
Michael is actively engaged in developing the next generation of leaders for a great number of companies in North America. Michael’s Emerging Leaders coaching program combines education on the 15 Core Business Competencies with the power of personal executive coaching to provide a career-changing and life changing experience for young professionals who want to become the very best that they can be. If you’re not doing enough to develop the next generation of leaders for YOUR business, you should reach out to Michael and learn more about his Emerging Leaders development program. It works so well that Michael offers a performance guarantee. More info is available, just send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.