"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Finding Deep Meaning in Defeat

What does a young and successful tennis star have to do with a blog about inner growth?

Several things:

First, although it is not my birth nationality, I have been Spanish for nearly four decades, so I feel I am warranted some pleasure in national sports glories, such as the recent UEFA Champions League soccer final win by the Barcelona team Barca, Alonso in car racing, Tour de France winners (the last three), and of course, also by all the success the young Rafael Nadal has had in international tennis (see also the Wall Street Journal for this magnificent article Spain's Extraordinary Sports Ego, referring to talk of "An Invincible Armada").

Second, and this point is much more germane to this blog: here we have a very young individual who is used to success make the nevertheless very mature point that deep meaning can be found in defeat.

Here's what he said at his post-defeat press conference: “Defeats never make you grow, but you also realise how difficult what I achieved up until today was, and this is something you need sometimes. You need a defeat to give the value to your victories.”

In the Times Online, sports columnist Matthew Sayed writes this about Nadal's statement : "How better to remind oneself of the savour of victory than to taste the bitterness of defeat?"

And he goes on to quote from Nadal's blog: “The first thing I want to say is that it was only a tennis match yesterday. No big drama. It happens, and I knew it would happen one day. It had to be yesterday and well, now I just have to look at that match and see what I did wrong. It is not a tragedy.”

Sayed continues: "Defeat is a precious gift to the all-conquering sportsman: an opportunity to learn, to adapt, to develop. But ultimately it is an opportunity to rediscover the essential meaning of victory. That is why Nadal will return stronger, deeper and hungrier. "

Read the entire article here

Defeat ... not only a precious gift to the all-conquering sportsman, but a gift to anyone, to choose to regard it as an opportunity to learn, to adapt, to develop.

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