Losing Is Good for You

By Ashley Merryman, the co-author of the book “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing,” and author of a recent NY Times Opinion piece “Losing is Good For You

“In life, “you’re going to lose more often than you win, even if you’re good at something,” Ms. Twenge told me. “You’ve got to get used to that to keep going.”

“our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories. Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss”

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“Consider what people think of you, but don’t be afraid of what people think of you.”

Anders Holm, Comedian, “Workaholics” commencement speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison …

“To get what you want out of life, all you can really do is find out who you are, and do that.”

“Practice being curious, want to know things, ask questions.”

“Consider what people think of you, but don’t be afraid of what people think of you.”

It doesn’t matter if you spend 1000 hours practicing if you’re doing it wrong, all you learned is how to do it wrong.

From Reddit user bradlee92 …

“It doesn’t matter if you spend 1000 hours practicing if you’re doing it wrong, all you learned is how to do it wrong.”

From a tennis blog

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect. So every time you repeat an action, right or wrong, you will find it easier to repeat that same action, right or wrong.

Practicing a bad shot will give you a better bad shot, but you will never look like Roger Federer.”

The more a person is committed to a goal … the more negative compared with positive feedback will be efficient.

From a post titled “When Is a Negative a Positive?” on Freakonomics.com.

Ayelet Fishbach of the University of Chicago …

The more a person is committed to a goal — and by that I mean the more someone thinks that they absolutely have to do it, they like doing it, it’s important for them to do it — the more negative compared with positive feedback will be efficient”

Heidi Grant Halvorson, associate director of the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia Business School …

“Look, doling out negative feedback is not fun. It’s embarrassing. We feel terrible. We feel guilty.  So we love hearing, ‘Hey, maybe I don’t have to give negative feedback,’ ‘Maybe I can just say positive things!’  ‘If I just keep saying positive things, then somehow this person will work to their fullest potential and everything will turn out fine.’ And that just turns out to not be the case.”

Make sure that whatever you love doing is something other people don’t love to do.

Career advice from Steve Levitt co-author of Freakonomics

“Make sure that whatever you love doing is something other people don’t love to do. The worst thing in the world is to find some kind of job that everybody wants to do – like being a rock star.”

“You have to find something that is idiosyncratically something you love but everyone else despises. So if your dream is to be a garbage man, for instance, you’re guaranteed to have success in life.”

Take risks when you can

From a CNNMoney feature titled The smartest advice I ever got by Chris Larsen Founder, E-Loan.com and Prosper.com …

“Cut the lifeboats.” I heard this from Jim Collins, who wrote “Built to Last” and was the best M.B.A. professor I had at Stanford. He pleaded with the class, saying, “You’re young. You can fail two or three times, even lose all your money two or three times, and you’ll be just fine. Taking that risk puts you in the path of wealth.”

If he hadn’t said that, I probably would have taken a job, like a typical M.B.A., instead of founding a company. Starting my own business seemed so risky, but maxing out credit cards or even going bankrupt isn’t so risky if you do it at a young age. You’ll never regret taking those risks, but you might regret it if you don’t.

“Sometimes quitting is strategic, and sometimes it can be your best possible plan”

From the a podcast titled “The Upside of Quitting” on Freakononmics.com

“To help us understand quitting, we look at a couple of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost. Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard. Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.”