What’s more important, wins or losses?

What’s more important, wins or losses?

Dustin Lien
July 22, 2017


We (or at least I) romanticize it so much that when small successes happen, it’s easy to look right past them because nothing’s ever good enough to live up to the expectations we’ve set for ourselves.

If it’s not a million dollars, then it’s zero. That’s the mentality.

We’re failing until we’re “successful.”

“Dream big,” they say.

…and yeah, at a basic level I agree, but there’s context we’re missing around the idea of “success” that we’ve drummed up in our minds.

We’re not all going to be Elon Musk or Zuckerberg or [INSERT PERSON YOU ADMIRE HERE].

The question I’ve been challenging myself with lately is this:

What’s more important to focus on, the wins or the losses?

I’ll tell you one thing for sure—there are always more losses, so if avoiding losses is what’s most important to us, then life is going to be one heck of a depressing ride.

It’s so natural to get caught up in focusing on the negative instead of the positive. When’s the last time you actually celebrated a success (even a small one)?

I honestly can’t remember.

I can remember every failure though, big or small, that has happened in the last 5 years. Clear as day.

What would life look like and feel like if instead of harping on and fearing the failures, we eagerly looked for the small accomplishments, and gave them credit. Gave ourselves credit.

Checkins of gratitude and appreciation.

Wouldn’t the journey be a little less painful?

I’m not talking about a false sense of reality. I understand that being delusional about small successes isn’t going to build a profitable company or get us where we want to be, but completely ignoring them leads to a constant state of feeling inadequate.

Acknowledge when things don’t work, yes, but don’t take it so hard. It’s detrimental.

Show yourself some grace once in a while.

My conclusion is that if we actively celebrate small wins while still acknowledging areas for improvement, progress will be much more sustainable, and we’ll feel a greater sense of overall joy about life and pursuing our individual purpose.

What do you think?