Company High/Low - 1/11/21
"You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated." -Maya Angelou
This quote from Maya Angelou highlights a principle that we've talked about many times before in the High/Low weekly - the difference between your identity and your experiences. We've talked about it in the context of success and failure, for example: when we let our successes or failures (i.e., our experiences) define who we are (i.e., our identity), we get into trouble.
This quote gives us an opportunity to revisit that topic in another context. Maya Angelou says that, though we will face defeats in life, we should never become defeated. Now let me pose a question to you: is it possible to be facing defeats all around, yet still be victorious?
As humans, we have a nasty habit of labelling people based on what we see on the outside of their life. We might say someone has a perfect life because of what we see from them on social media. We might say our neighbor is rich because of the house they live in or the car they drive. We might say someone is defeated because someone else seems to have the upper hand.
Often, however, there is more to the situation than is immediately obvious from the outside. The truth is, when we judge people by looking at the outside, we will almost always get the wrong answer. And sometimes, no matter how hard we try, there will be important things that we just can't see. It takes faith to be able to believe for good when all we see is evil - to believe for victory when we see only defeat, to rejoice when we see reason only for mourning.
Next time you're feeling defeated, remember that there may be more at hand than what you can see on the outside.