Losing Graciously!

I watched the final of the US Open 2019 Tennis between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev last week. That match lasted for five hours. At the end, Rafael won. No surprise. That was his 19th Grand Slam win. What an incredible guy!

But the biggest thing for me in that game was Rafael’s opponent, Daniil. I’ve never seen such a gracious loser in my life. This guy was amazing in defeat.

I’ve seen others cry when they lose, which is okay, but not Daniil. There was no tear in his eye; no cry in his voice. He was so close to winning the match which would have been his first at the US Open, but he lost. During his interview just after the game, he was just beaming with smile. He was so kind in his words to Rafael and was just having fun with the crowd. I’m not so emotional but Daniil made me weep. I have no doubt in my mind that he would go far in the sport.

In 2015, John Maxwell, the leadership guru, wrote a book titled: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. I really love that title because in life you don’t really lose; you only learn. Like Henry Ford said: Failure is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. We learn more in failure than in success.

That you lose today does not make you a loser. That you fail today does not make you a failure. Failure is only an event, not a title. You’ve only learned how it doesn’t work. Failure means there’s a better way to do it and you’ve got to learn it to move forward.

Failure is not final, and it is not fatal either. So please, don’t make it the end of the world. And like Albert Einstein said: “Failure is success in progress.” If you don’t stop, you will eventually arrive. Every success that is celebrated today was once a failure that refused to stop. By all means grieve your loss, but don’t kill yourself. Pick yourself up again. While there’s life, there’s hope. A living dog says the Holy Book, is better than a dead lion.

I love the scripture in Micah 7:8 and that’s my parting gift to you this week:

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.