It’s been a couple of weeks now since the Alabama Crimson Tide lost Texas A&M, but it happens so rarely there’s still a little mileage to get out of the topic.

Ever since that loss, Rocket Editor Skip Vaughn has attempted to convert me to an Auburn fan.

I simply asked him why would anyone trade about one or two losses per year for four or five losses per year?

Losing isn’t fun.

But it is interesting seeing how different people respond to failure when it occurs, because ultimately, in life, failure is a surety.

If you never experience it, then you’re probably not doing enough to push yourself either in your professional life or your personal life.

There’s a difference, though, between accepting and understanding that there are times when you can do everything right and still lose and becoming comfortable with or complacent to the act of failing.

After the loss, Tide Coach Nick Saban said it was important for his players to remember how this loss felt. The implication being that they should be motivated to do better in order to avoid the unpleasant feelings they were experiencing at the time.

That’s good advice for a top-tier, division-one athlete who not only has the ability and resources to improve their performance, but in all actuality will rarely experience the feelings associated with losing.

What happens when you find yourself in a situation where your winning percentage is a lot lower than 93 (which is what Alabama’s would be if they win out this season)?

In other words, how often do you have to feel terrible about failing before you become numb to the circumstances surrounding failure and become hopeless?

I don’t know, but I have some thoughts.

My hypothesis is that your resistance to the complacency that accompanies continued failure is directly related to the peak of whatever successes you’ve experienced in life.

The only data I really have to test this is made up of my own failures and successes.

The older I get some of those failures seem to lose some of their gravitas and some of those successes seem to lose some of their shine.

Nevertheless, I don’t think dwelling on the feelings surrounding failure is good advice for most of us. At least not for me.

I tend to find myself in situations where a 90% winning percentage for me just isn’t possible.

I don’t think those numbers are possible unless you’re operating within a closed system like the realm of football or some other contest where you can control a large percentage of the variables that lead to a win or a loss. Life, in general, just has too many variables and too few things you can control.

The athlete in this scenario has an easier time warding off complacency than you or me who roll out of bed every day and go about our tasks.

So, don’t dwell on your failures, don’t forget them, but most importantly rack up the wins when you can.

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