We Win or We Learn, That’s How We Play the Game

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Life is full of mistakes to be made, but that doesn’t mean we lose. In our family, we win or we learn. That’s how we play the game.

We Win or We Learn, That's How We Play the Game | Life as Mom

I wish that I could bottle up all the things I’ve learned in the last 45 years and hop into a time machine. I’d transport myself back to 1990 and walk right up to 18-year old, know-it-all-me, and make her drink it.

She’d probably give me a side-eye glance and cautiously walk away. You don’t drink something a total stranger hands you, particularly a wide-eyed, old lady with a cell phone that glows in the dark.

Nope. Sometimes, we have to learn things the hard way.

One of the things I’ve learned, thank the Lord, is that LEARNING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART.

A few months (or was it a year?) ago, my husband told me about a new motto he was adopting. He’d heard it on sports radio (I think?), a story about a coach who said to his team, “We don’t lose. Either we win or we learn.”

I’ve since tried and failed to find the exact source of the quote to attribute it properly, but I’ve come up short-handed. The gist of it is, this is the Fisher Family motto now.

We win or we learn. There’s great power in this saying, power to redirect and power to make lemonade out of lemons.

We Win or We Learn, That's How We Play the Game | Life as Mom

We Win or We Learn

We’ve never been the family to have regular family devotions, to faithfully practice family nights, or to hang mottoes and family mission statements on the wall. It’s always felt forced.

Instead, these things usually happen spontaneously in those random, God-ordained, learning moments that present themselves when you least expect. Life is learning.

While our family saying is clearly not original to us, I’m putting it on a t-shirt! And maybe the wall, too.

This life lesson about making life a lesson has been instrumental in our family life over the last few months.

Our kids are 8, 10, 13, 14, 16, and 19. Mama is now 45 and Papa is 54. If you do your math correctly, you know that we make a lot of mistakes around here.

That’s just the nature of Life. The real one. Not the game with pink and blue people.

When we make a mistake, either collectively or individually, FishPapa or I do a little redirecting.

Did we win?

Did we learn?

Sometimes we do both; sometimes we only manage one. As long as we learn, we’re not losing.

This practice has salvaged many a failed family outing or stopped “the tears over spilled milk”. We aren’t losers. We’re learners. That’s how we play the game.

Try this exercise in your own life next time you’re disappointed or the day (or your child) didn’t obey you. It’s a game-changer.

Did you win or did you learn?

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  1. When I looked up a similar quote on winning or learning, it was attributed to Nelson Mandela.

    1. I’ve seen it attributed to lots of people, so I wasn’t sure how to credit it. That’s why I just linked to the google search. Once upon a time, for a different post, it brought up all kind of disagreement as to who to credit something to, so I decided to play it safe. 😉

      Regardless, it’s a great motto, don’t you think?