The difference between mistake, defeat and loser

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Robert Maurer
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The difference between mistake, defeat and loser

Those who feel a failure become unfairly deterministic about the future, just as those who attribute such a label to another do so unfairly.

Last update: February 04, 2020

Chess is a wonderful game. They are because the final result does not largely depend on luck, but on the experience of the players. Whoever wins knows he could have lost and that his moves made a difference, whoever loses knows that he could have won and that his moves also made a difference. In chess, therefore, as in many other challenges, there is error, but not defeat or a loser.



Mistakes exist, because there are strategies that can always be improved, especially if we adopt the point of view of someone who has just handed over his king's head. “I could have played better”. However, his defeat is far from being a failure, as the next game will require other moves to learn from, to improve and make a difference. Excellent elements to reflect. In this sense, his time investment was profitable, probably much more than the winner's.

He is unlikely to return home by overturning the game. He will have strengthened his strategies and therefore it is more difficult for him to find reasons to question them. Most likely, he will repeat them until someone beats him. In this sense, victory tends to perpetuate a cycle, to reduce investment, which is why it is so sweet. Our brains tend to save energy and victory is usually a deceptive support in this regard.

The difference between mistake, defeat and loser

The defeat

Defeat comes when what has happened, in addition to the taste of failure, leaves nothing else. This is what happens in games where luck commands, which is why they are humanly so poor. Because whoever loses, and there are many since the dealer has the odds in his favor due to the relentless law of large numbers (many games and many players), learn little and rather cling to some disturbing superstition.



"I lost because I didn't arrive before nine ...", "It's the fault of this shirt, it brings me bad luck ..." the same as the friend ...).

Irony aside, luck teaches us / remembers little, besides his presence, except that he always plays his part, as a protagonist or a non-protagonist.

The loser, much more than someone who accumulates one defeat after another

The loser is not the one who collects one defeat after another, nor the one who just lost. Loser is an adjective (label) that has connotations that go far beyond. Saying that someone is a loser or thinking of being a loser permeates the entity, the being. It becomes part of the nature of being, of being. Therefore, of something immutable.

Which will never change and which, therefore, is configured as a condemnation for the future. He cancels the motivation to learn because he sends us the following message: “No matter what you learn, you will always be a loser”. Those who feel a failure become unfairly deterministic about the future, just as those who attribute such a label to another do so unfairly.

Because perhaps it is true that the past is the best prophet of the future, but it is never the voice that dictates his lines to the scribe. There is no determinism, but rather the possibility of overcoming rooted in change. Precisely that overcoming that frightens us and attracts us. And it is for this reason that this attraction is canceled out in the person who feels like a loser. A thought infiltrated into the depths of his being.


And from there, this thought can trigger and sustain many depressions. A depression that appears when hope is lost (Abramson et al., 1997). And it's not about wanting a different future, but rather about doing something (management skills) to design it. Thus there are mental disorders, such as phobias, which lead to depression: anxiety stifles hope in them, pointing out that we are undoubtedly vulnerable beings.


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