I Choose to Choose

“You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.”
– Lou Holtz
Psychologically, we humans are a fascinating bunch. Whatever is happening now has the power to influence what we think; the way we think; and our beliefs about our potential. 
 
When times are good, it feels like they will always be good. We believe they will get even better. 
But when times are bad, we think they will get much worse, and we believe they will never improve. 
 
It’s those voices in our head – and the external voices we hear from others – that can derail us from what we are here to do, our mission, our goals (we will talk about them another day).
We can get side-tracked by the here and now, the emotions of the immediate. If we’re winning, others (and ourselves) will congratulate us. If we’re losing, we’ll be criticised. 
And we potentially stay there for too long, both glory and pain. 
 
These emotions, or e-motions, have the power to create ‘motion’, onwards. 
The decision to give these e-motions power and life is ours. 
As we become mindful of the e-motion and our state, the win or the loss, I think we need to remind ourselves of the clause in every investment pitch…..past (and present) performance is no guarantee of future results
This is true no matter whether a performance or experience has been positive or not.  
 
Let me reframe that for us, what happened does not determine what will happen, it may carry momentum (or motion), but it is not final.  It is not decided – that is ours to own. 
 
So what does influence our future results?
I would offer it is our ability to learn, adapt, create our own shift.
 
This truth has been highlighted for me many times while watching my kids play sport. 

In teams, some kids seem to be so much better at a certain sport than the other kids. 
Then, over time, it’s as though something clicks inside some of the other kids, and suddenly their performance grows, or even skyrockets.
As they grow and mature, they learn to move their bodies more comfortably, they learn how to do the activity better, and they adapt their delivery and their performance. They shift from where they were to where they need to be. 
Like they’ve finally been given the space to be more successful and they step into that space.
 
Change, adaption, growth. These are things we humans can do wonderfully well, yet we often overlook them – especially when things aren’t going so well for us.

You are not a moment in time 


Let’s go back to the opening quote from Lou Holtz. “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.”
 
Here, Holtz emphasises that it’s critical we keep perspective. We need to recognise that what’s happening now doesn’t define us. 
At times, you may struggle, and at others, you may soar. 
Yet these times are not you. 
The power lies in how you choose to react to what’s happening. 
This provides a much better insight into who you are as a person. 
 
The best thing about this thought? 
You can change how you react. How you frame the context. And that choice is yours.  Always. 
 
The key to unlock and supercharge how you manage your reaction.
Your LQ, Learning Quotient. Your ability to learn. 

Choosing to learn


As businesses, as leaders, as humans, we should celebrate our wins. More often. 
Equally, we need to embrace our losses. 

Why? it’s often where the most learning occurs.

It’s through losing, doing less well, that we can reflect on what needs to change, so we may start doing and being better for the future. 

I’ve talked before about lifelong learning, developing your LQ.  One of the three pillars I consider critical to resilience.

At the heart of lifelong learning is a deliberateness that brings sharp focus to our life’s aspirations. our willingness to learn from the good, the not so good and the downright bad, we move closer to realising our goals. 

The lifelong learner looks at the reality of their situation and knows that what is now will not always be so. 

They will not always win, and they will not always lose. But they can always learn, and through that lens they identify what they need to change, to shift their focus from the storm clouds, to the rain those clouds bring that enables new growth.    
 
So, next time you hear yourself or others saying something along the lines of, “Things are so bad right now, they will never change,” or, at the other extreme, “I’ve made it! Things will be easy from now on,” I would suggest you stop, and reflect on your situation. 
What is the reality? How might it change? What can you learn from it, and could you react differently? 
 
Celebrate that win and mourn that loss. Then learn, adapt, shift. 
You are so much more than these events. 
 
Better or Worse…your call.
 
Have a cracking day. After all, it is your choice. 
 
I’d love to hear your thoughts.      
     


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