Defeat – That Other Side Of Victory

“Victory is soft, like a rose.” Ravoof

It was in the midst of the USTA Regionals. I was swaying in the heat with young-uns competing for national attention.

Equally, I was basking in the glow of Roger Federer’s greatness – seventeen grand slams, seven Wimbledons, a record-breaking 287 weeks as Number One, and so on, and so on – while reflecting on defeat in the form of Andy Murray – the great British hope.

So on The Journey – Your Radio Show I fielded this timely topic: Dealing With Defeat – That Other Side Of Victory.

I gathered valuable input from players, parents and coaches, and I spiced up my on-air presentation with Billy Jean King’s invaluable advice on emotional strength. (Listen.

Just then, a visiting psychologist form India (Nitin’s father; Nitin is a good friend and a tennis player) stopped by with a bag of goodies – beautiful preparations from his wife – for me, so I invited his input. He blessed me with these three gems.

  • Victory is soft, like a rose. Enjoy it today – its beauty, its aroma, its touch. Tomorrow this rose will be rough. Soon it will crumble to dust.

  • It is a great human value: respect. In this construct – where there is a winner and a loser – as a player, experience it. As the victor, enjoy the victory – this is only natural – experience the defeat also; this is respect – a great human value. As the loser, feel the loss – experience it; it hurts; that’s only natural – celebrate with the victor also. This is how we learn to deal with defeat and with a loss. This is how you grow. Grow through it. Experience both in balance. This is respect, a great human value.

  • It is a psychological reality that a human can obtain pleasure in two ways. One. We obtain pleasure by giving pleasure, by sharing it as a gift, as an expression of love; by spreading it in service and in gratitude. We obtain pleasure by giving pleasure. This is a great human value throughout the world in all societies. Two. We obtain pleasure by causing others harm, by enjoying the sufferings of others, by enjoying not responding to the needs of others. The former way of getting pleasure is like a Mother Teresa who gave herself in service to sufferers. The latter is like a Hitler. It is destructive. It is an aggression. It is not the nature of the vast majority of humans. This too is a psychological reality. It is not a great human value.


    Ay-yai-yai! This is how I can deal with defeat, with victory, with gain and with loss, he told me. This is how I can grow strong. I don’t know about you, but simply by wearing these gems I’m beginning to feel beautiful. And that is some feat.

    Victory is soft. Like a rose. Shall I call it a delicacy and have a feast? It’s our feast for 287 weeks … and counting … as a tribute to greatness, in partnership with young-uns seeking to grow mentally strong like the great ones, and for our future. It begins with three simple steps. 

      1. Embrace victory, as you would a rose. 

      2. Experience defeat with respect.

      3. Enjoy growth through victory and through defeat.

    So fortunate, my mother offers this meal for growth and mental toughness: GRIT – GOD RESTORED INTESTINAL TOUGHNESS. Enjoy.

    Just to be sure, my Grandma Rose offered this deal for victory and defeat – those two halves of the same BUT: “Treat them the same, with honest to goodness laughter and don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh it in the face, You’ll Be Ultimately Tough.”

    So be a phenom! You too can laugh while smelling like a rose for 287 weeks … and counting

    Defeat - That Other Side Of Victory

    Victory Is Soft – Like A Rose

    You’ll be strong.

    2 responses to “Defeat – That Other Side Of Victory

    1. I thought Murray stole the show with his speech. I had thought of him as a hot head before that. His raw emotion came through along with his graciousness.
      Great post!

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