That’s what learning is, after all: not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.

That’s what learning is, after all: not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.


We’ve all grown up with the adage, “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” And while that is so very true, it is equally important to understand losing. So the second adage, “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson,” becomes the next chapter that we encounter.

If you are venturing into new territory, it is almost certain that you will hit moments of “loss,” regardless of how skilled, equipped, determined and passionate, you are. It is a part of the process that remains inevitable. Perhaps the greatest secret in all of it is to recognize the part of the equation that losing plays. 

A loss beats us down. It can literally knock the wind out of us, leaving us breathless with disappointment and despair. It creates a moment of stalling all forward momentum and can drop us to our knees, hoping and praying that it was a different outcome. 

But in that loss, we are afforded a viable chance to grow. It may be a painful growth, one that we would never have opted to engage with. It may hold us at bay when we are most determined to accelerate with everything we have. If we are aware of these variables, we are most well served to pause in that defeat and recognize that perhaps there is a better option awaiting us, even if that may appear less obvious at the moment. If we start with the premise that “when one door closes, another opens,” then are we not most intelligent to use the moment of loss looking for that open door?

In that quiet moment of desperation and disappointment, it is most difficult to stay present enough to see this truth. We are much more inclined to retreat into our personal shell and mourn our loss. That is a human reaction. Far more evolved, then, is to recognize that the disappointment is truly a segment of the greater path upon which we are forging.  In that disappointment, we are forced to regroup. In that period, we are awakened to our flaws and shortcomings. Some of these are able to be overcome, and others, simply are not. 

So the recognition that we must accept the variables that are carved in stone, is a critical component to achieving our greatest glory. In that acceptance, we can instantly rule out options that are just never going to happen, and focus on the ones that are possible. That simple variable is the secret to success. I write about tenacity, determination, fortitude and persistence. These are critical tools to the entrepreneur. But, of equal importance is acceptance of the variables that absolutely cannot change. With that acceptance usually comes a compromise that may never have been considered, had one not suffered the initial loss and consequential realization. In that compromise comes the growth required to mature and excel through the pain of the disappointment, and evolve into whom you need to become, in order that you may continue your journey.

Losing, in a curious way, is winning.

Happy Tuesday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!