Losing is Good for Your Health

Is losing good for your health? You bet it is! It’s not that losing is a good thing. Rationally speaking, it’s clearly better to win than to lose. I don’t just mean this in the competitive sense. Life is less a competition against others than it is with one’s own best standards. Still, losing is part of a context. That context is reality. That context is human inability to gain knowledge automatically, or to achieve without effort. The very concept of achievement, or effort, implies that loss or failure is possible. The always present possibility of failure is what makes gain, or success, meaningful. Think how pointless success would be if achievement were guaranteed. What would the point of career fulfillment be if income and survival were automatic? What would the sense of pride in accomplishment be if accomplishment did not involve the possibility of failure? No, failure is not a good thing. Failure is not something to strive for, clearly. But loss is part of what makes gain meaningful in the first place. When you lose, it doesn’t make sense to celebrate. But it does make sense to remind yourself: “Nothing good comes easily. Attempts to achieve always involve this risk of loss. This time, I lost. But with corrections I can strive for victory next time.” You cannot celebrate loss, but you can celebrate life. Loss is part of life.