Joe Montana Cuts His Losses: All Part of the Winning Process

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Hey Mike, just wanted to share something with you. It’s kind of hard to roll this into one nutshell, but basically it was like an ‘aha’ moment for me. Sometimes it’s just something so simple, and on paper, sounds very obvious, but for me a mental connection which hit me like a ton of bricks. I don’t want to bore you with a lot of details, but I had read Joe Montana’s “The Winning Spirit” a few years ago, and one chapter in particular about failing fast and moving on really resonated with me. I had forgotten about it, but I was listening to one of your podcast episodes, and you were talking about taking your losses, and then it just hit me, that that’s what winners do. Fail fast and move on. Wow, what a concept for life. Anyway, may sound obvious, but a connection that I just had to share.

Nice! Do you have exact excerpts?

He wrote back:

“In training for success, we shouldn’t hide from failure. Just like football players in the film room, we study failure. We want to see how it happens and which strategies will work to keep us from making the same mistake again. The speed with which we shift from that place of underachieving or failure to a place of confidence and achievement is crucial to achieving our own level of greatness.”

“In sports, all champions and championship teams lose from time to time. The lesson is that losing is not a permanent defeat but something from which they can profit. Athletes are taught, more than most people, how to learn from their mistakes, knowing they will soon be back competing in the same activity where they may have lost the day before.”

“We have to be tough enough on ourselves to analyze our performance honestly. Yet we also have to love and be kind to ourselves—such as giving ourselves permission to miss a goal from time to time. Sometimes we have to go through a negative stretch of time, perhaps voicing a few choice words or an outburst of emotional frustration. Do it if you need to, but remember that it’s important to return with a more supportive and gentle approach, reaffirming that we still believe in what we’re doing, and that we’ll be okay after we’ve made some adjustments.”

“In it’s purest form failure is essential for achieving excellence.”

Great stuff. Thanks.