For four hours I watched while my spirits plummeted…then soared…then plummeted again. While hope languished…then quickened…then vanished once and for all.
Today, the Steelers will return to the city that supports them where the fans will welcome them home despite the loss. The players will enjoy a short break from their grueling schedule and then they’ll get back to work—training, practicing, girding themselves for next season, getting stronger, faster, smarter, better at what they love to do.
And so should we because we all know what defeat feels like...whether we lose a game, or fail to publish, or blow an audition. Whether we lose a friend, or suffer an injustice, or confront cancer. It can be painful. It can be lonely. It can dishearten you to the point where it serves as an excuse to give up. On the other hand, defeat can motivate you. You can learn from it and resolve to get back to work...to practice harder, to start a new story...or revise an old one...to take that class or to finish that poem.
In everything, our spirits rise and fall. Hope flourishes, then fades. Sometimes we feel strong and courageous; sometimes weak and fearful. Some days we write freely, even brilliantly; other days, nothing. Sometimes the future looks promising, sometimes bleak.
Whatever defines defeat for you, remember the Steelers. Take a break. Seek support. And then get back to work. Put words on the page or strokes on the canvas or lyrics to a melody. Your fans will welcome it.
What defines defeat for you?
To quote from Steve Kloves, screenwriter of seven Harry Potter movies:
“Follow your passion, not the market.”
(He should know!)
In my next post, maybe I’ll get around to citing the people who were so helpful to me in NYC. Who Knows? Maybe something else will come up this week.