Conor McGregor is a 28-year-old mixed martial art phenom from Dublin, Ireland. After dominating the sport in the featherweight division, he ventured outside of his comfort zone to challenge himself in the welterweight division against a much larger opponent, Nate Diaz. After losing his first bout against Diaz, McGregor was forced to go back to the drawing board and reassess his strategy for the must anticipated rematch. His trainer, John Kavanagh, preached the mantra that if "we don't win, we learn." This transcends sport.
The first loss was largely due to McGregor getting in too close to the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist and resulted in Diaz winning the contest via a rear naked chokehold. In the rematch, McGegor learned from his loss and dropped Diaz several times in the rematch while maintaining his distance. McGregor showed patience and allowed the fight to come to him. Throughout the fight, he continuously ignored the temptation to engage with Diaz after knocking him to the ground three times. McGregor stayed on his feet, avoided tangling with Diaz on the mat and stuck to the game plan, which resulted in victory.
In a recent research and development project, I found myself becoming frustrated with the lack of progress we were making. We had set deadlines to begin testing the product and found ourselves continuously hitting road blocks. Reflecting on the McGregor/Diaz fight, I realised that although we were unable to witness the fruits of our labour, I was able to find peace in the process of learning. We had to learn from our setbacks and never lose focus of the product vision. Each "failure" was nothing more than a temporary setback on our way towards our goal of releasing a revolutionary product to the skating market. In McGregor's case, the documented loss to Diaz was nothing more than a motivational setback on his journey to become the best UFC fighter in the world.
Whether it's a vision we have for launching a product or a personal goal we set for ourselves (weight loss, financial aspirations, happiness, etc) we need to realise that the road will be blessed with obstacles. Let us appreciate that we learn the most when we lose, stumble and "fail." If we view each loss as a catalyst for enlightenment and vow to never make the same mistake, it will only propel us further towards our end-goals. Stay the course, stay patient and do so with a a can-do attitude.