You Can’t Lose Something You Didn’t Have - Grasshopper
I often hear people talk about things they lost that they didn't have. "Because that deal didn't go through, I lost a lot of money." More accurately, you didn't make the money. You didn't lose it because it was never in your pocket.
My sense is this twisted logic goes deeper than making money.
If you didn't have someone's love, admiration, friendship, commitment or a whole host of other nouns in the first place, you can't claim to have lost it.
Reminds me of a story . . .
Back in the 80s, I was hired to be the program director of a radio station debuting a new format. The station was changing its format from "Beautiful Music" to "Oldies."
During the transition, there were people from the old and new format in the same building. Some people who were from the old format were working out their time. That meant in a couple of weeks this station wouldn't employ them any longer. According to their employer, their skill sets didn't match up with the new format.
I remember the first day I was in the building. I went over to shake hands with the soon to be parting program director - a man I had never met but knew by his reputation in the beautiful music format. I wanted to meet him and wish him well.
He couldn't have been any ruder. I was a bit taken aback. One of the other employees said to me, "What do you expect, you're taking his job."
Just for the record, I didn't change the format of the station; his employer did. They also didn't offer the job to him, so it was never his job. I wasn't taking anything away from him; I was just filling a vacancy. You can't lose something you didn't have.
Too often we feel we're entitled to something that was never ours. Respect comes to mind. There's a reason this old adage still endures today: Respect is earned. If you lament that you lost someone's respect, but never earned it in the first place, you have fallen victim to losing something you never had.
What are you claiming that you lost but never had? It's an exercise worth our pursuit. It sets entitlement on its ear and makes what you actually have abundantly clear.
All the best,
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