The holiday season is upon us. As you prepare to wrap up the year and unwrap your presents, I hope you will take time to reflect on the lives of those who are less fortunate as well as the many blessings of 2016. When you’re looking back on your year, I strongly urge you to place special emphasis on the blessings that came in disguise.
Here’s an example: Several months ago, one of my lacrosse players was devastated after he broke up with his very first girlfriend. He was certain it was the worst event in his life and that he would never recover. I quickly reminded him that my wife was not my first girlfriend. Perhaps unsurprisingly in that moment, he didn’t quite get the point. I elaborated, reminding him of the fact that I would not have met my wife and had three amazing children if I did not break up with my first girlfriend. He laughed as we moved on.
Everyone has good and bad luck, but the thing that separates ordinary from extraordinary people is the way they choose to respond. Are you the lottery winner who is bankrupt several years after winning millions or are you the track star who ends up competing in the Olympics after being cut from the soccer team in high school?
I first learned about the concept of “Return on Luck” (ROL) while reading Great by Choice, by Jim Collins. Collins states, “Everyone has good and bad luck, but it’s up to the individual involved to create positive or negative outcomes beyond that moment.” It’s a matter of mindset.
Negative experiences can often serve as catalysts for our greatest personal growth. I would venture to say we gain much more from losing than from winning. As a coach and athlete, I always experienced the best practices after a loss. Unfortunately, winning can often mask the work that truly needs to be done.
As you think about your wins and losses of 2016, I invite you to think about your ROL. Consider the following as you craft your New Year’s resolution:
- Don’t be afraid to try because of a fear of losing.
- Promise to finish whatever you start, because quitting is contagious.
- Spend less time worrying about whether your luck is good or bad in any given moment, and focus on how to create a positive return on whatever luck hands you.
The year is coming to an end, but you still have time on the clock. I hope you will make the most out of the remaining weeks of 2016.