Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – a job, an advertising, your quality of life, a partner, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the greater the loss, but if we lose something, we feel it deeply.
A pal of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a huge case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this was a most unusual experience best a course in miracles podcasts. But what intrigued me was his attitude about any of it: “I could 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 have some thoughts on what I possibly could have inked differently, and I want to observe they’ll play out.”
His is definitely an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. One that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe don’t assume all time, but more often than not. It’s well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all for their attitude.
Many lawyers, in his position, might have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge if you are biased toward the other side, on the jurors for “not getting it,” on the trial team if you are inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, identified what was missing, and was rarin’ to go on the following trial – so he could once more, win.
All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my method of thinking, a shift in perception (how you start to see the loss) lays the groundwork for a miracle, for something to happen that will be 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’s, as permanent and all-encompassing, then affirmed, you’ll feel devastated and unable to let go and move on. If, on the contrary, you appear at your loss – be it the loss of a job, a spouse, a customer, your savings – as temporary, something to understand from – then chances are excellent that you will have a way to go to better yet things; to a “miracle.”
The sole change is in the method that you perceive the big event, the loss. And that, unlike the loss itself, is totally within your control. Buck against it though we might, we could always control what we think. No, it’s not necessarily easy. I find it takes considerable effort to go my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that’ll generate a better future. But it’s doable.Business