Never Neglect an Opportunity For Improvement

The best part about having things not go your way is having the opportunity to learn without any pressure. There’s a great opportunity to figure out a new way of doing things. If everything works all the time and goes perfectly, where is there an opportunity to learn or do any better? If what you’re doing is working well, then why bother to try anything new? If everything is going your way and you’re having a great day then what is the motivation to try to grow as a person?

I’m sharing this right now in a situation for me that was painful – losing ranked game in League of Legends. We haven’t lost yet, but we have two kills to 14 deaths. This is about as good of a scenario as I can give you a real live example of something frustrating that’s happening . I have a nice thing now in this game. You could say there’s never any benefits to losing or failing but in this game I can learn with no pressure. The game is already a disaster so the worst case scenario is already the most likely scenario and that’s a loss. Now, I can just play the game worry-free.

When I was in the police academy, this helped me out a lot when we were doing the driving test. The driving test at the police academy is intimidating because I couldn’t just study my way out of it. I was used to having a high confidence on tests. It was hard to do the driving test because there was no amount of studying I could do to make it easier. I just had to drive the car.

All week, I had failed. You had to drive a course in 4 minutes or less that was tough. You got up to 60 miles per hour and then you had to stop at other points. It was challenging because I thought I was a good driver before going in there. Compared to what was possible on the test, it was a whole lot for me to make up in a short amount of time. I hadn’t passed the test at all going into the last day. If you failed the test in the last 3 attempts you had to get sent home. Then you had to go back to the academy in several weeks so it was a total disaster if you failed the test.

I got lucky because on my first attempt on the final day I butchered it. I ran into a cone on the first turn and automatically failed. I failed the first attempt and then I had a beautiful thing. Because I ran over that cone and I knew that I’d already failed I then got to take the test with no pressure. I then got to drive the course and learn how to drive it with no pressure for the first time. I already screwed up about as bad as you could. Why not just go ahead and drive it like I meant it?

I passed on the next try. If I hadn’t failed so completely on that first attempt, I doubt I would’ve been able to pass it. I wouldn’t have been able to have that time to just drive without caring about my result. On a game like this I can just play without caring about my result. The game is already in the bag for the other team. I can play free without any worry for what’s going to happen.

That allows me to have fun and play the game. The crazy thing is how much we try to avoid a situation like this. I’ve had people comment on some of my videos already. They say I’m not good at League of Legends and I shouldn’t play ranks. They say I should go back to normal and play it before I come into ranked games. That is based on the fact that shame is found in failing. Failing is shameful and you should never do it.

I don’t look at it that way. Failure for me is a learning tool. If I’m willing to fail I’m also willing to succeed and grow. When you fail miserably, really go face down. This is not a close game, we’re getting smacked right now. This gives me the ability to completely learn and grow. I don’t have to be afraid of anything and that’s the easiest environment to learn and grow in.

With my business, I’ve went face down a ton of times. I’ve failed so many different times in my business and that’s been a big part of why my business has grown. I’ve been more willing to fail than a lot of people in my business. I’ve been willing to take a total loss and get smacked down and have everything go wrong. That has allowed me to grow more than a lot of people that are so afraid of failing that they won’t take any chances. That is a miracle here in my life and that’s why I’m taking the time to share it here with you. I want you to have the same chance to play a game and lose it and not be miserable.

Most of the time I would be losing a game and I would hate every second of it. I would be mad at my teammates. I would be sitting in the chat trying to deflect the blame. I would try to prove that it’s not  me that did this. This shameful failure is not my fault. Because I’d be trying to deflect the pain I would try to shove it off and get rid of it.

When you go about failing like that, you can’t get better at it. There’s no opportunity to improve. That’s what I see with a lot of people playing Call of Duty especially when that happens. Everything is wrong, everyone sucks, everything’s lagging, everything that’s happening is not my fault. When nothing that happens is your fault, then there’s nothing to learn. When everyone else stabbed you in the back, then there’s nothing you can do better, there’s no way you can improve.

I know from this game, there’s lot of ways I can improve. There’s lots of things I can do better. It’s okay. If I run out there and they chase me down and smack me what difference does it make? What’s worse that can happen. I might lose some match-making rating. I might not make a God League. So what?

The only way that matters is if I say that my placement is a representation of who I am. That’s where it’s painful. When you get into looking at who you are based on how you are in a video game. I’ve done a lot of valuing my self-worth based on how things turn out in a video game. For example my Call of Duty KED represents how I am. If it’s high and it looks good relative to other people then I’m great and if it’s not then I’m terrible.

Life’s miserable that way because it’s lonely at the top and it’s lonely at the bottom. You’re ashamed to tell anyone you’re at the bottom and at the top no one else is worthy of playing with you.  The only place it’s not lonely is being a regular person that screws things up, gets things wrong, and loses games. I’m here playing with four other people who are getting smacked with me right now and that’s not a lonely place. We just surrender, the games over, the worse has happened.

Defeat is not the worst thing that can happen in life. Going through life hating how things are is the worst thing that can happen. No matter what you’ve been through in life the worst thing that can happen is feeling miserable. Feeling like life stinks right now. That’s the worst that can happen. When I feel like life’s awful I pray for help with it. I don’t deserve to be punished for whatever’s happened in the past. I deserve to enjoy being alive right now.

I pray today to remember that there’s nothing shameful in defeat. There’s nothing I’m losing by taking a loss in life. Everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. I pray that each defeat is an opportunity  for me to learn and grow. I pray that I’m always willing to take defeats to learn and grow. I pray that you don’t have to be ashamed of who you are when you lose. I pray that you can learn and grow out of every defeat you have in your life. Thank you for reading this. I hope you have a great day today.