This is a secular website, but I’ll start, here, with religion — firstly because it’s where I tend to start, and secondly, because it provides a helpful framework.
The very symbol of the Christian religion is the cross. In worldly terms, the event the cross depicts is utter defeat, yet Jesus transformed that symbol into a world-changing way of understanding reality. In part, if your focus is properly oriented (meaning, toward God), then everything is a victory. If you win, you win. If you don’t win, that loss can still have a transformative effect. And for those of us who are not the messiah, when we don’t win — where the goal in which we failed was intended to make the world better — we have made progress by finding an obstacle (which, of course, may be an error in our own thinking.)
As with a great many aspects of Christianity, the theology has beneficial lessons for life. In any endeavor, whether work or play, one does well always to envision multiple scenarios. Having a plan B, a plan C, and a plan D, all of which interest you and have benefits of their own, to the degree that you almost hope you have a chance to try them out, means every outcome is a win. Again, if you win, you win. If you don’t win, you get to try out your backup plan. If your chess move succeeds, you get to move on to the next, and if it doesn’t, well, in a way, you still get to move on to the next. It’s just a different “next.”
What if the failure of a particular move means you lose the game? Step back. This game was only one in a series of games from which you’re learning. What if you discover that you’re just no good at chess? Again, step back. Your foray was an experiment in the game of life, and now you know.
The important question is: Why are you doing what you’re doing?
So, with national politics suspended in turmoil and state politics looking increasingly adverse to conservatives and traditional values, we have the opportunity to learn lessons and develop exciting new plans to better become the people we need to be to improve the world.
Where we’ve won, hooray! And where we haven’t, hooray for the new opportunities our current position presents.