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Watch story of Afghanistan Memory Wall here

How to Lose
How do you lose the right way? How do you lose with dignity?

If you are pushing yourself, if you are trying hard things, if you are doing something new you will lose.

And when you lose you have a choice. You can talk about how you got distracted, how the sun got in your eyes, how you were tired or the referees blew the call.

Or you can suck it and learn from your loss.

Making excuses when you lose cheats yourself. Because you are not being honest about why you lost and robbing yourself of the chance to learn from it.

Teddy Roosevelt talked about failure and loss here:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I agree with Mr. Roosevelt. The true failures are not the ones who know defeat but the ones who know victory nor defeat because they were too timid to make an effort.

Congratulate your opponent when you lose.

Look them in the eye and don’t make excuses.

Losing the 2011 USA Memory Championship was tough for me. Because I had tasted winning, I had trained hard and I expected to win. But I didn’t make excuses. I got beat.

Sometimes losing opens doors to new opportunities just as my USA Memory Championship loss opened the door to the Afghanistan Memory Wall.

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