Life after losing an election…

The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda have just ended, and as expected there were both winners and losers.  If you enter any race

The Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Uganda have just ended, and as expected there were both winners and losers.  If you enter any race or vie for a competitive game, you must prepare for both a win and a loss. You must plan your life such that you can accommodate the outcome of the election or game results.

Life is a series of small games or races or competitions. You win some and you lose some. It is the lessons we learn from every race that make us better people. The Katumba Oyee fame candidate has benefited a lot in terms of country-wide visibility and personal brand, by just vying for Uganda’s top office.  He may have lost the main office but did not come out empty-handed.

While in primary school, every football team training session ended with guidance to the team members on managing defeat. We would be told, “go in to win it, but if you lose, do so honourably.” Losing honourably meant losing by a small margin or resuming your normal life after the loss.

In the 2021 elections, over 30 prominent incumbent members of parliament, including the Vice President, lost the election. It is tough. Every candidate needs to be prepared for the loss to avoid going through depression or stress. The Electoral Commission must place in place mechanisms of preparing candidates for a loss as part of the election management process. As a football player, below are some of the lessons we were taught on moving on after an election loss:

  1. Stop thinking about the loss, focus on the lessons you learned from the process. Now is the time to take stock of key learning points. What did you learn about friendship, trust, and mobilization? What could have been done better? Which of the lessons can be applied to your life post-election? Avoid folks who come to just talk about why you lost. That is gone. Focus on the future.
  2. Discuss with your inner circle. We all need folks who tell us the hard truth. Tell them the options you have going forward, and how to start planning for the next election if you still have the motivation and time is on your side. The best time to start planning for the next campaign is now. After the victory party, the winning candidate will forget about the people.
  3. Conduct your audit using the life wheel and assess where you stand. What is good in your life? What is not good? Where can you improve? How do you recover from the loss? If you still have some money, go for a trip or enjoy the games you love with close friends and family. Free your mind. You only have one life, live it well.
  4. Take stock of your previous successes, wins you made and how to progress to the next step. Look beyond the role you have lost, of course except for the Presidential Candidate, which happens to the highest office. Look at the loss as an opportunity to progress to the next, bigger level.

Wish you greatness in your current state. Life must continue…

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.

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