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Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at jsimpson@news-gazette.com.

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As I get older and experience life’s different twists and turns, I have come to learn to not look at losses as a bad thing.

If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll find that the path I’ve walked hasn’t been an easy one. I know a thing or two about taking a loss.

Sometimes I look back at those tough times and I remember the pain that I felt. I used to let those feelings invade my thoughts and would do certain things to avoid hearing them.

Today, I don’t let those things consume me negatively. I’ve come to realize those losses weren’t losses at all, but lessons learned. I believe those lessons turn into blessings. They have given me the strength to go further, the courage to tap into my true potential, and the wisdom to pass along to the next generation.

One of the biggest things I would tell the younger generation is to always get back up when they fall. Take these so-called failures and use them as fuel to go harder.

My favorite quote is, “It gets greater later.” It rings true to my life daily. There’s always a bigger purpose even when it seems there isn’t; only time will tell.

I now understand that you don’t just go through things, you grow through things. While growing, you’ll experience some growing pains but you must keep that head held high and push on.

You can do it.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. He can be reached at jsimpson@news-gazette.com.

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