How to Deal with Success and Failure

Based on an article by

Swami Sukhabodhananda

What should be our attitude to playing sports and the game of life? We should strive for excellence which will bring out our inherent talents. But, despite our efforts, if we lose, we should not worry about it. An individual who has never experienced losing cannot enjoy the happiness of winning.

Grace Under Pressure

Winning and losing are like the two banks of a river. There are four important aspects to winning: the skill to innovate, positive thinking, mental toughness and self-confidence. We develop self-confidence by developing skills, taking responsibility and feeling good. We should learn how to feel good even under pressure.

Maintain Equanimity

Our quality of life is determined by whether we possess the consistent emotion of equanimity. We should learn how to be equanimous in all situations. For example, in cricket if the wickets keep tumbling, each newcomer to the crease will be under immense pressure. In such a situation, we should not allow our past failures to bother us. Instead, we should focus on giving our best in the present, which will ensure a bright future.

Peak Functioning

Do not worry about past failures, but learn from them. For inspiration, you can think about some memorable innings that great batsmen have played under extreme pressure. To win in sports and in the game of life, physical preparation is not enough. We should also train our mind and spirit to function at their peak. When our body, mind and spirit function at their peak state, we will produce immense energy which will positively influence our actions.

Learn From Failure

Failures should not be a cause for concern or worry. We can learn plenty of lessons from failure. Therefore, failures should be considered as stepping stones to success. Do not be affected by failure, but imbibe the harsh lessons and strive to correct your mistakes in the future.

Learn to Innovate

Learning to innovate will inspire and encourage you. Innovation needs inspiration, practice and focus. Strive to put in your best efforts consistently. Do not worry about the result as it is not in your hands. As Rudyard Kipling wrote, success and failure are two impostors whom we need to treat in the same manner. Today’s loser can be tomorrow’s winner and vice versa.

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