Most of these weekly posts draw on some recent book or article that has relevance to leaders and emerging leaders, including mental health or ministry professionals. This time we draw on several of the articles analyzing why Obama won and Romney lost. I should add that this is not a political commentary. I’ve tried to avoid any hint about how I voted or reacted to the election results.
Instead the focus is on what any of us do when we lose the pursuit of a dream. It applies to political candidates who lost their elections, athletes who failed to win medals at the London Olympics, people who have been passed over for promotions, whose businesses or marriages failed, who applied for a position but don’t get it, who sought God’s guidance in reaching some cherished goal but fell short of turning their dreams into reality. All of us experience loss at times and are faced with deep disappointments.
In public we can put on a happy face but these are times when sadness inundates our lives, often accompanied with self-reflection, self-condemnation, feelings of humiliation and endless thinking about what went wrong. These are times when we need to grieve. We need the company of understanding friends who care, listen and pray without giving pat answers and well-intentioned but insensitive, poorly-timed advice. This applies as well to disappointed voters whose candidates were losers.
In English the word loser has a negative connotation. It suggests something or someone that’s not good enough to be at the top. But missing the top prize does not mean incompetence. Most of the Olympic athletes and some of the political candidates are highly competent people with skills and experiences that can be directed elsewhere.
Many who read these words are people helpers and people builders. It’s a high calling to help others recover from losing and move on to something that may be even greater or more influential than the goal that wasn’t reached. Very often this turn-around process starts with ourselves.
Please click on write comment, leave your reactions and tell us how you or someone you know moved from a loss to a win.