Losing for Winning

–When last did you experience what seemed like a loss but in retrospect it ended up being a win?

Below is an age-old tale retold.

There is a story to be told
One not often heard
Inconvenient to the ears
Of what became of the hare

Tabloids needing fodder
No front-page story here
For who could make a case
For one who lost the race

Slow and steady wins…
The tortoise beats the hare
The copy writer’s dream
Printed on many reams

Just keep going
Never stop or give up
A noble lesson indeed
Why spoil it with truth revealed

That is until one sunny day
Fate decided the time was now
For the missing piece to manifest
For the world to see the power of rest

The audacity of the tortoise
To dare challenge a hare
Who in their right mind would bet
That it would even be a contest?

Nothing to lose here
Let’s put this crazy idea to bed
That slow and steady trumps
Sheer pace and raw speed from the stumps

The long-awaited day tarried no longer
Excitement filled the air
Not much of a wink could I find
Buzzing way out of my mind

My patience waning as he slowly set
The race was on
I was off and hopping
So far ahead it made sense stopping

“Persistence and dedication reign”
Those were the tortoise’s words
Now ringing in my ear
Let’s see him win from way back there

Between us was clear daylight
Having the luxury of a snooze
So whacked from buzzing all night
Sure as day I would wake and still cruise

The palm trees for shade
Trees rustling, bees buzzing
Every chance I may be dreaming
Transported there by birds sweet singing

Drifting downstream, droopy-eyed
My path crossed with one old and wise
Poised, feet crossed the enchanting sage did sit
With a knowing smile, he asked, “who may you be?”

“I am hare on a quest to win”, answered I
“Win what” he inquired still
“A race against the slowest of the slows,
To earn my place as the fastest of them all” my reply

“Why such a venture”, he probed
“Cause that tortoise dared to challenge me,
As ridiculous as it gets against one as rapid as me?”
Parodying that motto “life is a marathon, not a sprint”

No match for me, can he ever be
Most surely the winners’ medal I will wear
To settle the matter fair and square
My fame spread abroad beyond compare

“Name for me the fastest panther, deer…
from yesteryears?”, the sage did enquire
My memory I searched but found no answers there
A question so designed that I consider my fare

Further, he pressed, “Where exactly will this end,
Today the tortoise, tomorrow a snake
Maybe even perchance a Zebra be next
Ever racing to prove you’re the best of the rest?”

There I was reflecting on my drive
Jumping from race to race was no way to thrive
Better to enjoy all the universe provides
Basking in the here and now with no more strife


Frank Bolaji Irawo
Frank Bolaji Irawo
Frank Bolaji Irawo is an ICF Certified Transformation Coach, Author, Poet, Speaker, mental health advocate, and Project Recovery Specialist. He is passionate about harnessing creativity to help professionals who are stuck, unfulfilled, or burnt-out to have greater clarity, larger impact, and more enriching relationships. His coaching style is empathetic, incisive, and transformational aimed at engaging the whole self. His life work is focused on helping clients gain an understanding of how they create their experiences from the inside out, make the most of their limitless potential and live out of conscious awareness of a fully connected universe. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in several positions in professional and spiritual communities working as a coach, team lead, teacher, speaker, mentor, or counsellor. Driven by his experience of spending many years and thousands of pounds to create the life of his dreams and coming up short. He was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. He embarked on a study of mindfulness, spirituality, psychology, and neuroscience to discover how to create persistent transformation without having to constantly change things out “there”. This led to him connecting to his true essence, and the enjoyment of real happiness, security, and balance from within. He now uses what he has learnt to help others do the same. He has worked with clients at various levels of leadership at Discovery Communications, Danone, Sainsbury, and Arrow Global. His love for helping people avoid needless suffering has led to the creation of the CALM SELF foundation as a vehicle for supporting causes that meet people’s basic needs as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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