How To Lose (And Be Better For It)

Humans are naturally competitive animals. We constantly fight over all sorts of things. The subjects of our competition may have evolved over time, but it hasn’t made our battles any less vicious. Winning and the concept of beating the competition are ingrained in our society and our media. We’re told to look at those who come up a bit short as losers, even when the truth is that we all lose sometimes. Losing, in fact, is often the best thing for us.

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard before going on to found Microsoft. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking originality and good ideas. Before starring in I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball was widely considered to be a B actress at best, lacking any real talent. Even one of the world’s greatest athletes, Michael Jordan, was famously cut from his high school basketball team. Would these people have gone to achieve great things without first failing? Possibly, but remembering that even the best among us don’t always have success is a great lesson.

Board games give us an outlet for competition that doesn’t have to end in total destruction (at least not in the real world). The stakes are a bit more manageable. Having said that, we, as humans, tend to attach ourselves to the idea of winning and when we don’t… well, the results can vary between a handshake and a hearty ‘Good Game!’ to the dreaded table flip, or worse.

Now, most players have experienced losing at some point in their gaming life and have developed ways to take it with a smile. One of the most important lessons that games can teach us is how to lose with grace. If we were lucky, we learned this early in our gaming lives. How we feel when we win or lose often comes down to perspective. Here are a few thoughts to consider on the subject.

Most of us already know these lessons. We’ve probably had to learn them the hard way at some point, but it’s always good to remind yourself of the wonderful opportunity losing provides. It’s something that we’ll all have to face in our lives at some point. It’s how we deal with it that will set us apart. 

How To Lose (And Be Better For It)

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