The A Word: Winners and Losers

Cottage life is suiting us well and we haven’t given much thought to our five crates of “stuff” in storage.   When we purchased Beech Cottage last year we were nervous about the prospect of the downstairs bathroom, but we don’t even think about it now. It also has its advantages; arriving home from a long walk and taking a shower, you can stir the spaghetti bolognaise at the same time as the small bathroom is next to the galley kitchen 😊. Living in the centre of a thriving village is also a new experience for us, I find myself chatting to the people who go past our front window regularly, its very sociable.  I also love people watching and currently, with an abundance of visitors to this beautiful area, we are never short of things to see!

The walking is superb and my favourite this week was Logan’s Rock to Sennen return.  Taking in both the North and South Coasts of Cornwall this walk offers dramatic cliff formations and beautiful hidden coves.  It passes through the Minack Theatre, an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea.  The route also takes you around Land’s End, which was a tad busy for me, but the views are breathtaking. My favourite view, however, was without doubt the magical beach at Porthcurno.  Described by some as being a paradise, Porthcurno Beach, located in the far west of Cornwall has won many awards and it’s easy to see why. With gorgeous fine soft white sand washed by a sea that turns turquoise in the sun and high cliffs on both sides providing shelter, it’s an oasis of stunning natural beauty.

It’s a reasonably difficult walk, my Fitbit recorded 38,000 steps and 201 floors so we were ready for a Pint in The Logan Rock Inn on return.  This 16th century traditional village pub is named after the famous Logan Rock which stands a short walk away from the picturesque village of Treen, our starting point earlier that day.

I could write an entire blog about our walks but moving on I want to talk about “losing” and why it’s so much better for personal development than “winning”.   During my career in technology sales, I had to learn to learn to lose gracefully and deal with the emotions of losing.  I would question my ability, perhaps I’m not as good as I thought.  Losing can make you feel more vulnerable too.  I still feel that way when I lose a deal now, I question everything!

However, after going through all the emotions it does help to build character and you learn from the mistakes you made.  In my mind, I haven’t lost unless I give up and stop trying.  Let me put it another way, when we win, how much do we really learn?  Personally, I don’t think we learn much at all! When we win, we’re not challenged, our ego can grow but our skills stay stagnant. 

One of the behaviours of successful people is being able to self-assess.  If we’re willing to self-assess and examine our mistakes following a defeat it provides us with the flaws we need to fix.  Winning makes us feel good, like we’ve accomplished something great, but it doesn’t force us to self-reflect and self-improve. It doesn’t make us better people. Those of us with the ability to look deep into ourselves and find ways to address our failures without falling apart are the ones who ultimately succeed.

Thinking this way has also helped me manage my life living with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a progressive inflammation that can lead to permanent limitation of movement in the spine.  When I was first diagnosed, I wanted a second opinion as I was keen to understand how exercise would help.  We carefully selected a Consultant who, among other roles, worked with the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (UK), an excellent body leading the NHS Exercise Medicine Service . They also work to improve NHS musculoskeletal outcomes, hence my interest.

During that consultation, I got the green light to exercise, and more importantly the knowledge that exercise was going to help me more than any medicine could.  Having an element of the disease under my own control meant that self-help was definitely the way forward and that’s how I’ve continued to live my best life.  Jamie and I appreciate that one day it might not be so easy but so far so good 😊.

Finally, I want to finish this week talking about “respect” which I often feel is sadly lacking in today’s society.   Respect is a way of treating or thinking about something or someone. … You show respect by being polite and kind. When people are insulted or treated badly, they feel they haven’t been treated with respect. You can respect things as well as people.

In the workplace, in relationships, friendships or on social media people rejecting another person’s thoughts and ideas when their views don’t align with their own is commonplace.   It may be an unconscious action, but it’s a definite sign that a lack of respect exists. Even if you don’t agree, allowing the other person to express themselves shows that you value their perspective.

It’s essential that our society has respect. Without it, our society can’t function well. We must think about the way we act to others, because the smallest act of kindness can truly make a difference and change somebody’s day.

Until next time, keep safe, #stayalert and remember we’re not born winners and we’re not born losers, we are born choosers”

xxx

One thought on “The A Word: Winners and Losers

  1. Great post, as a fellow AS sufferer, you have given me a lot to think about. So glad to hear about your self-help approach. I am trying to do the same. Exercise is indeed crucial. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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