Week 39
“Learning From Defeat”

Another adversity lesson this week and how we can, or should, learn from those experiences and take what we learn to invest it into our next project. With defeat comes humility and that condition can bring us to seek out wisdom and arrive at a place of greater understanding. Though not always is this the case.

Arrogance is a powerful force and as one of my teachers put it years ago, “a disease that makes everyone sick but the person who’s got it.”

Failure and defeat is misunderstood and communicated poorly in our society today. Doing it right the FIRST TIME is in direct conflict with almost any great achievement from history. Teaching success means learning from and handling defeat along the way.

Edison’s statement on failure was his attitude that says
“I found a thousand ways it WOULDN’T WORK.”

Learning and striving are part of the success equation and each make the short list in my book The 10 Commitments.
Many of the great writers, teachers and achievers confirm the value of difficult times in our lives and work.

“The only time we don’t fail
is the last time we try anything and it works.”                                                                                   —William Strong
“In a dark time, the eye begins to see.”                 
—Theodore Roethke


One of the discoveries Hill relates in this lesson is what he calls an “important” discovery: The truly great achievements that were attained by men and women PAST THE AGE OF FIFTY!

And expressed his opinion that the most productive years of men and women engaged in what he calls “BRAIN WORK” were from the ages of 60-70.

Two important facts of life stand out boldly.
One is that defeat in some form inevitable overtakes each of us at one time or another. The other is that adversity brings the seed of an equivalent benefit, often in some hidden form.”
                                    —Napoleon Hill, A Year of Growing Rich

The message?
Strength is gained through struggle, mentally as well as physically.

Exercising our mind is similar to exercising our muscles, greater strain leads to greater muscle. Hill encourages us that adversity and even defeat cause us to reflect, develop our mental capacity and go forward to greater victories than we might otherwise achieve without the struggles.

“I love the man that can smile in trouble.
That can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. Tis the business of small minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm…
will pursue his principles unto death.”                      —Thomas Paine

While it can be difficult to recognize the potential good of defeat or adversity, especially while we’re going through those difficult times, the benefits are undeniable from history in an individual’s continued commitment to persevering and
“Learning From Defeat”