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An Important Life Skill: Failing With Grace

For the record, I wasn’t planning to blog today (today is Binge Wanda Vision Day), but I read an article on Israel Adesanya’s Post-fight Press Conference after his UFC 259 loss last night. This was his first loss on record (making him 20-1). The article flagged noteworthy responses worth mention for anyone facing setbacks.

Scribbling Start Time: 8:59 AM

Adesanya’s UFC 259 Post-fight Responses

Here’s the full press conference for those who care to view it. I begin my comments right after this with quoted text if you don’t want to watch this (so feel free to skip/scroll down for the goods).

A (Proper?) Fighter’s Perspective on Loss

At some point in the press conference, Adesanya states that he’s lost before, he then goes on to elaborate…

“I’ve lost in kickboxing. I’ve lost in boxing. I lost in life and I’ve lost in love. You don’t win all the time. I’m still here. My team’s still here. They still love me. My family loves me.”

Israel Adesanya
UFC 29 Post-fight Press Conference

A bit of context on why this is resonating with me: I had a bad week and likely need to take a vacation (which I’ll be doing the week of March 15th). I am experiencing a professional/personal stress-cocktail. Nothing terrible is happening at work – just a little burnout risk. And psycho-emotional issues (undesirably changing interpersonal relationships, ongoing COVID-related stress, and major life decisions) are piling on outside of work. All of it can feel like a lot at times, and I’m coping – but coping is ironically draining and probably doing more harm than good. So, as I said, a vacation is in order (or whatever facsimile of that I can achieve right now).

Anyway, through all of that – I’ve been speaking with friends about the matters. I point out to them that, although some of the week’s events suck professionally and non-professionally, none of it is permanent. Everything is momentary, and I always strive to remember the good stuff too, and not let a moment in time define my ultimate outlook on anything.

It sounds like a nice platitude, and it’s admittedly hard to live by when you’re actually going through something. But seeing Adesanya take on a similar ethos in defeat was uplifting and reassuring. He wasn’t sugarcoating anything. He goes on to point out…

It sucks to lose, but it’s not like it’s the end of the world. I’ve lost before. I’m excited to get back and work on the details. … I’m not heartbroken and I’m not over here saying, ‘Oh my God, f*** he embarrassed me. … This is a dip in my story – ‘the valley’, if you will – before I rise up again like the phoenix that I am.”


Regardless of whatever challenge you’re facing, so long as you keep a fighter’s mentality in your proudest and lowest moments – things will be ok. Regardless of how empowered you may or may not feel, we all have the capacity as humans to fight — embrace that. Continue to strive to find your better days, and don’t let a few bad ones here or there determine your perspective on your Life of your potential. Fail gracefully and then move on to your next step to get yourself back up and at it.

Seeing someone take that route after a public defeat in a high-stakes competitive arena is impressive, and I think it’s a life skill worth learning for everyone because you won’t win all the time. (PLEASE NOTE: Winning Often <> Winning All The Time)

I just wanted to pop in for a quick bit today and share that great example of failing gracefully.

I encourage everyone (including myself) to keep things in perspective, remember that moments don’t define you, and push forward. Moments of struggle are a part of the human condition. They keep things interesting and help you savor times of triumph. The universe balances itself in funny ways.

Fall down seven times and stand up eight. Hand drawn typography poster design. Concept of dealing with failure gracefully.

Be grateful for it all (good or bad) & enjoy the ride.

Peace, and thanks for reading.


The soundtrack for this post provided by…

Image Credits:
– Cover Image © G-Stock Studio (Shutterstock)
– Body Image © TriDraw (Shutterstock)

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