Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Ok to Feel Defeated..Now what do we do?


The above statement made by the best selling author Paulo Coellho during an interview I did with him, brought a sense of comfort to me. Isn't it true that we so often want to quit, give up over one, two or three defeats, when instead we should just realize that these setbacks are simply a fact of life, not its totality.

We seem so willing to immerse ourselves in defeat instead of just acknowledging it and letting it go.

Many of us define our lives by our defeats vs. our aspirations. "I guess I'm not supposed to be in a loving, committed relationship or I wouldn't have gone through three divorces. If I was supposed to be an actress, it would have happened by now, after all, I'm already 39 years old. I was born an addict and I guess I'll always be one. This is the 10th smoking cessation class I've attended and I'm still smoking."

These comments, and you can probably add your own here, are made by people who have not accepted defeat and moved on, but rather by people who have decided to define themselves and their lives as defeated.

Paulo's books, including one of my all time favorites The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream, have sold over 27 million copies, a number that truly is unfathomable. Yet, here is a man that has faced defeat many times but never defined himself as defeated. As he reiterated the story, when The Alchemist was released in his home country of Brazil, the sales were so slow that at the end of one year his publisher dropped the title. I wonder how many of us at this time would have concluded that we were not the talented writer we had hoped we were and taken this "defeat" as a sign to find some other form of work to do. Instead, Paulo continued his search, not an easy task, for a new publisher. After knocking on many doors, a new one took the chance on his "defeated book" and millions of copies later his story unfolds to become one of immense success.

It is okay to be defeated. I also believe it's what we do after the defeat that really defines us. I ask you to learn from your defeats, your failures, and move on. Drop your urge to label yourself with such limitation. Instead, surge ahead to the newly formed wonder that you truly are.
If you believe this article can help someone you know, please pass it on.Search. Grow. Love.

Love, peace, Rev. David

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