Thus, one gains by losing, and loses by gaining.
– Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching 42
Whenever a choice is made in life, you gain something and lose something — all at the same time.
A jacket you buy could be at the expense of a fine dinning. While losing a job is a bad thing, it could set yourself free to embark on a journey you yet to have time for.
So to lose is to gain, and to gain is to lose, and there are occasions when the best gain is to lose, and in order to gain you must be prepared to lose in order to gain.
The secret is to strike a balance between gain and loss, that can be described as yinyang balance.
As Lao Tzu says:
The Tao gave birth to One.
The One gave birth to Two.
The Two gave birth to Three.
The Three gave birth to all of creation.
All things carry Yin
yet embrace Yang.
They blend their life breaths
in order to produce harmony.
People despise being orphaned, widowed and poor.
But the noble ones take these as their titles.
In losing, much is gained,
and in gaining, much is lost.
What others teach I too will teach:
“The strong and violent will not die a natural death.”
Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 42, translated by J H McDonald