Thursday, August 06, 2009

Gain vs. Loss

We got into an interesting discussing during work yesterday. I was attending a training class in Oklahoma City about coaching and we were talking about conversations that we have to have about good or bad behavior.
The question was raised, " Do we learn more from a loss conversation or a gain? Or can we learn from a loss conversation as much as a gain conversation?" In other words, do we learn more when we are told what we are doing right or experiencing praise, or do we learn more from failures or being told what we do wrong. Or do we learn from them both?
At first, the answer seemed obvious- we learn best from being praised or told what we do right. But it only took me a moment to see the truth for myself.
Yes I can learn from them both, but the truth is that I think I learn more from a loss. After all, when I look back over my career- some of the moments that I can state that I learned the most are the moments that were difficult situations or interactions. I learned more about communication and professionalism from one conversation with a co-worker that turned sour and out of control than I ever learned from hundreds of happy conversations. I can say that I learned way more about driving on the ice the day I slide my T-bird into the ditch than I ever learned from lectures and directions time and again from my stepfather during our Oklahoma winter storms. And who could forget the time I busted open my head while on vacation at Turner Falls after my Father told me repeatedly not to run on the slick pavement at the top of the hill? It was becuase of that moment in time that I learned to listen and obey my Father's voice and instruction.
And one would think after all this time that I could apply these earthly lessons and learn to listen and obey my Heavenly Father's voice.
And at times I think I am finally learning.
I am not saying that a loss is easy or even wanted.... but when I look back over my life, I see that God has taught me so much more, changed me in more extravagent ways, through loss. With that glaring reality staring me in the face, I have to ask myself " Why then would I believe that I should be exempt from loss?" If loss is part of what shapes me into being a more loving, compassionate, wiser person- a person who seeks to know the heart of God more after these experiences- can I dare to say that I want my life to be absent of loss?
I dont want for it becuase it is an incredibly painful experience, but can I say that there is not loss without gain?
What about you? Do you learn from loss...... or gain......... or both?

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