See the opportunity for what it is

man raising his right arm

Don’t let your losses bring you down further.

Way back when I was playing in a semi-final for a waterpolo game. We had all worked our arses off for months on end to get there. Alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. The other team, longtime foes of ours, proved too strong.

That was when our coach told us a story I’d never forget.

He had been in the exact situation. He had worked his arse off for months on end only to fall short in the semi-final. Only, he let it get to him. He was so strung out by the feelings of dejection that he forgot about the task in front of him: the playoff for third and fourth.

Such was his pain that he played recklessly. He played without a care in the world.

Not only did it cost his team the game, it cost him opportunities he couldn’t see at the time.

People judge you on your character. They judge you on how well you are able to deal with the bad, and how well you are able to get through. Talent scouts included.

Our coach missed the perfect opportunity to make the New Zealand team. He had all the talent in the world, but his attitude got to him.

When we heard that story, we resolved not to let that happen to us.

And it didn’t. We won. Even though we came third, we felt like winners.

Don’t let the dejection take you down further. See the opportunity for what it is: an opportunity to prove yourself in spite of a bad situation.

An opportunity to do some good.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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