Canadians went to the polls yesterday to make choices on how we want to be governed. Today, some people are happy and others are not. If you’ve bopped around on social media at all, you’ll probably have noticed a fair bit of negativity.

How the heck does this relate to Kendo? Easy. Negativity is a choice. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but how you respond to either is a choice.

In a Kendo tournament, the majority of people lose. How do you deal with a failure to win? That depends on your mindset.

Some folks tend to look externally. The reason they didn’t win was because of poor judging, or a stronger opponent, or something out of their control. They take no responsibility for their loss.

On the other hand, some folks look internally for reasons. They may find they didn’t train properly, or they telegraphed their moves, or they didn’t take advantage of key opportunities during the match. They recognize that they are at least partially responsible for their loss.

If you did everything in your power to win and you didn’t, it’s on you to do better next time. Thinking negatively will not help you improve your skills. Make a choice to think positively, to respond to failure with an analysis of what you could have done better, then get on with it.

Losing is an important experience. It gives you an opportunity to learn your weaknesses and improve them. In a sense, losing is better than winning – as long as you take advantage of the opportunity.

Got knocked down? Good. Learn why, and then get back up and work on becoming better.