“You win some you lose some.” Such is the nature of life. However, how should we view the W’s (wins) and L’s (losses) that come our way? One would assume that we should maximize W’s and minimize L’s. At the most basic superficial level, this is probably true. However, I would argue that solely seeking to W’s can be damaging. I have devised a hierarchy of W’s and L’s.
- Big W’s (Good)
- Small L’s (Good)
- Small W’s (Bad)
- Big L’s (Bad)
Obviously a big W is best and a big L is worst. However, where it gets interesting is the competition between small L’s and small W’s. The answer to whether we should prefer a small W to a small L varies by person. I prefer a small L to a small W, not always in the moment but certainly in the grand scheme of things. This is because small W’s make one complacent. If we derive too much enjoyment from small W’s, we will become content chasing small W’s. Small W’s are false peaks, distractions from Big W’s. Small L’s on the other hand are indicative of seeking growth and frequently challenging oneself. Small L’s are checkpoints on the way to big W’s. For this reason, I would argue that small W’s should be avoided entirely, no matter how momentarily enjoyable they may be. We should chase the small L’s and grow from them so that big W’s may emerge in our future.