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Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – work, a campaign, your health, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the higher the loss, but once we lose something, we feel it deeply.

A pal of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a large case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this was a most unusual experience. But what intrigued me was his attitude about it: “I can see where I made some mistakes. I understand it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged the way the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t wait for my next trial – I have some thoughts on what I really could have done differently, and I want to observe they’ll play out.”

His is an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. One which practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe don’t assume all time a course in miracles mp3, but more regularly than not. It’s well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all due to their attitude.

Many lawyers, in his position, might have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge for being biased toward one other side, on the jurors for “not getting hired,” on their trial team for being inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, determined the thing that was missing, and was rarin’ to be on the next trial – so he could once more, win.

All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my method of thinking, a shift in perception (how you begin to see the loss) lays the groundwork for magic, for something to happen which will be a lot better than the thing that was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to master from the experience (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.

Whenever you look at your loss, whatever it’s, as permanent and all-encompassing, then sure enough, you’ll feel devastated and struggling to let it go and move on. If, on the contrary, you look at your loss – be it the increasing loss of work, a spouse, a consumer, your savings – as temporary, something to master from – then odds are excellent that you will have the ability to move on to better yet things; to a “miracle.”

The only change is in how you perceive the big event, the loss. And that, unlike the loss itself, is completely within your control. Buck against it though we might, we could always control what we think. No, it’s not necessarily easy. I find it takes considerable effort to move my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts that may generate an improved future. But it’s doable.

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