Why didn’t I lose?

There are many ways to react to a win. You can be gracious and humble. You can allow the win to inflate your ego to the point of arrogance. You can allow the win to boost your self-confidence. You can treat it with indifference, not permitting it to alter your perception or mindset at all. Or you can approach it with curiosity. After winning, you can ask questions.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about what questions it would be most beneficial to ask after accruing a victory. I’ve come up with two. The first is straightforward and obvious. The second is more counter-intuitive.

1) Why did I win?
2) Why didn’t I lose?

Now, it may seem that those two questions are kinda the same. But they’re not. Let me explain using an example from jiu-jitsu. If I’ve just won a match via submission, then getting into position for, and properly executing, the submission is the reason why I won. But the reason I didn’t lose could be that I didn’t allow my opponent to establish a dominant position at the beginning of the bout. 

Do you see the difference? 

Why you win is not the same as why you don’t lose. And to gain the most from a win—to learn things that you can carry with you into the future—you need to ask and attempt to answer both questions, in as much detail as possible.