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December 14th, 2003

On Failure

I realized something tonight. Something that's hard to admit. I realized that I'm a sore loser.

I mean, I'm okay with losing when I've made a clear and creditable effort, when I lose by some reasonably small margin. What I'm not good at is losing by a really large margin, losing by a landslide. I don't know how to truly fail gracefully.

I do okay if I keep reminding myself that losing is okay, that no small children will die as a result (since this is, most often, true), so I guess perhaps I could just try to make that more of a habit. I become so desperately invested in things that don't matter ... it's really ridiculous.

I need to learn to distinguish between things that are important and things that aren't ... and not worry about losing at the things that aren't important.

Someday, after years of practice, perhaps I will be laid-back like Shannon. Or like the Buddha. That'll be me, kicking back with sunglasses on and quoting zen koans.

I can't really imagine it. I'm too high strung, too tightly wound. I'd like to relax on a large scale ... but I don't quite know how. It's something I've been working on for several years now, with very little success.

Something I continue to work on.

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