Down But Not Out
Failure and defeat are inevitable. No one can be a “winner” all the time. Calamities, large or small, will be experienced in life . . . sometimes due to our own inabilities or unfortunate choices, sometimes because one is caught in the blowback from the mistakes of others. As much as we might try to avoid it and wish it would never happen, tripping, stumbling, and falling is simply a part of life. The critical factor is whether we let such occurrences raze our attitude or raise our mental construct to new positive heights.
Most know the old adage: it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up. We could add to that the famous Nietzsche quote that what does not kill us makes us stronger. Easy words to say; more difficult to do. What determines whether they are just said or actually put into practice?
Space here, as usual, precludes a full discussion of possible answers to the above question. Suffice it to say that mindset, one’s psychological orientation, is the determining factor. I once heard world- renowned bodybuilder Lee Haney say in person: “Your body will never go where your mind doesn’t go first.” While he was referring to contemplating lifting a 300-lb. weight bar, the philosophy applies to all of life.
Which begs a further question: what influences how we think? A short answer is that it depends in large measure on disciplined, purposeful, intentional, concentrated, and practiced mind control. Our thinking is formed when we focus these processes on the host of alternatives and seriously consider which choices will likely produce the most wholesome benefit in our lives and the life of the community. The end product will be, for example, either road rage or patience in the face of adversity.
An important constituent: all of the above is seldom done alone. We help one another along the path of discernment and application. But the primary point is, it doesn’t happen by accident. We help one another and, in the end, are stronger because of it.