Photo by Joppe Spaa on Unsplash


The blog post may seem trivial to many readers. This could be because they haven’t faced a big loss in their life. The kind of loss this post talks about is achievement related. It’s not related to the loss of human life.

Many of us have experienced loss, this could be a loss of job or a sudden end of a relationship. And these can devastate us in the short term. This can be especially true if we work really really hard. We put in all our efforts and still, we lost.

There are a few approaches we take when facing a major loss.

  1. Conjure up a story that keeps us away from reality.
  2. Examine, experience and accept reality as it is.

In Julia Galef’s Scott Mindset, a book about clear thinking, she describes these approaches in a chapter on Coping Mechanisms. This article is an expansion to the original ideas of the book for experiences and accepting reality as it is.

The premise of this post is this: You can deal with failure better when you understand certain truths. Understand, not just know. And by better I mean you can bounce back faster.

There is also the topic of how you not repeat the same mistake gain. But that’s for another time.

Dealing with loss truthfully

Understand and internalize these truths.

Settling the past

Truth #1: Karmafal is not in your hands. Only karma is

We don’t control the outcome of our actions. We only control how we act. There are many factors outside of our control. We can influence them with our decisions. But we can’t control them directly.

Truth #2: It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it matters how? you play

Life is a series of games. If you cheat and win one game, it doesn’t mean you can cheat and win another. But if you lost the first game and didn’t cheat but kept improving and playing, you’ll eventually win a lot of upcoming games that come.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. What matters is how you played.

Truth #3: You can only do your best

Here’s a hypothesis: Can you do more than your best at a moment? For example, at a certain moment, you learned a certain knowledge and hold certain resources, but you don’t know what’s beyond that knowledge. Therefore, you could only do your best.

That does bet the question of did you give your best. But as long as you did give your best, it doesn’t matter. Cuz you couldn’t have done more than your best.

Truth #4: You can’t win all the time. It’s a simple probability

What were your chances of scoring 99th percentile?? 1/99 assuming you have studied hard and studied better than all the people who also studied.

We always have wins and losses. These are mixed across time.

Looking at the future

Truth #5: Will this matter in 3-5 years

Almost all loss or win doesn’t matter in 3-5 years. We change our trajectory so much that we don’t care in the long term.

Truth #6: The past is gone

No matter how much we may want to change the past, it’s impossible. The only thing we can do is learn from it and use those lessons to shape our future. Accepting this truth can be freeing and allow us to focus on the present and future.

Truth #7: The next chance is still here

There is always another chance. Life is long enough to get important things done, and even if we fail at something today, we can try again tomorrow or pursue a different path.

Truth #8: Losing means learning

We have time, and now we also have experience. This means the next time we are less likely to make the same mistake if we learn it.