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Investing in Loss

"Investing in loss is knowing you will probably lose, and the lessons will only come through losing – not just the possibility of losing."


There's a Chinese saying, "invest in loss"

In the western culture, we may express this as take risks, or don’t fear failure.

But, it’s really more than that. Investing in loss is knowing you will probably lose, and the lessons will only come through losing – not just the possibility of losing. When I first heard this phrase, I thought, “yeah, makes sense. I could embrace that”. Well, for someone who is used to winning – and doesn’t always lose well – it’s a lot easier said than done.

I decided to truly invest in loss and I’m headed to England for a 3-day residential course in wing chun. If you haven’t heard of wing chun, it’s a close in fighting form that requires a lot of what we call chi sau or push hands. You know you’ve lost when your opponent gets close enough to pat your face (hopefully not a full on slap), or has you on your toes or doubled up on the ground. You lose in a very physical and immediate way.

You might ask, “what the heck is she doing this for?” I figure I’ll be probably the smallest student, the least experienced and quite possibly the oldest. And I’ll certainly be losing – a lot. But it’ll be a physical (stay rooted), mental (stay focused) and emotional (stay calm) challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing what I learn about wing chun and moreover about myself.

What does investing in loss mean to you?

I would love to hear from any of you who also are investing in loss – what does it mean to you and what are you learning.


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