Learning to Not Win. 

This is a product of a series of conversations had with a friend who in more than one way has said so many thought-provoking things. 

Question! What did they teach you about losing while growing up?

I wasn’t told anything, were you?  I learned of loss and how to cope with it on the job, probably like most of you,and I am not talking about death.

Not so long ago I lost a scholarship and about three years of my life with it. It felt like a lot of things but more importantly,  it was an interesting time to be alive. 

My family treated me like glass, as though  in constant fear that I would shatter and I milked it for everything it was worth.

My friends, some disappeared out of fear of not knowing what to say or do and others who showed up, avoided the topic like it was a newly announced epidemic  by ministry of health.

My mother asked me to take heart,and figure out a new plan.

And I, just sat back and enjoyed the show, some days with a lot of pain,  and on others with alot of uncertainty and drama.

Like I said, it was an interesting time to be alive.

I had lost things before, but nothing as significant or for which I was adult enough to deal with.

We are grown into a culture of wanting to win at everything and not enough into the reality of the opposite of it, so let me tell you what I have learnt from “not” winning. 

It sucks, beyond the ordinary feeling of pain,  because there is no place to scratch or bandage.

It’s like drowning without the peaceful promise of death.

It teaches you things about the people in your life but especially about yourself.

It teaches you to show up for yourself.

It sends you on a journey of self discovery in a way nothing else ever will.

It teaches you the helplessness  of words and the power of silence.

It teaches you that regardless of how much pep talk you receive, there is no magic to make the pain go away. 

It teaches you the power of time and waiting your turn.

It teaches you that the most important things are not things.

It teaches you reckless relentlessness.

It teaches you to be okay with not winning , because therein lies an opportunity.

But more importantly it teaches you to trust God,  because there is nothing as liberating as having no control!

What has ‘not winning’ taught you?



  1. joseyphina

    It has taught me that, we can make many plans but it is God who directs our steps. It’s not easy losing an opportunity unexpectedly and no words are enough for comfort but I believe there’s a time for everything. Things will sort themselves out. Great piece 👏👏

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  2. Alesi Majorine

    Not winning has taught me that life isn’t as linear as I have grown up thinking, that I must accept the biiter feeling of loosing and learn to live with it. It’s just part of life.

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  3. Kreativ adikt

    Not winning has taught me not to lose… Kati tulemelako.. Everything happens for a reason I guess.. So its not only winning most times just living.

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      I hope this helps, I was also taught by my Xhosa Girl Sinawo Bukani.
      I am a follower so whatever you post I always find in my reader

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  4. AtimMercy

    Winning has taught me many things it has taught you as well… Show up for myself, trust in God fully, self discovery, taught me alot about myself… And mostly I’ve learned that I can’t win all battles because when God’s gat you, some battles are designed for you to lose and learn so that you win big in another one.

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