Little known fact: I love to read, minus the four year hiatus I took while in college. I mean seriously, who has time to read for fun when you have hundreds of textbook pages taunting you at every moment? But, overall I really do enjoy a good book and I’m sad to hear of one of my favorite author’s passing.

Pat Conroy was a New York Times best selling author and a man that will be truly missed in the literature world. He was best known for his books the Prince of Tides and The Great Santini, which were later turned into Oscar-nominated films. However, my favorite Pat Conroy book (and possibly my favorite book of all time) has to be My Losing Season, a memoir of Conroy’s senior basketball season as starting point guard at the Citadel. If you’ve never read it, add it to the top of your list. Or, at the very least, read the excerpt below. And, whatever you do, don’t write this book off if you aren’t a sports fan. My Losing Season is more about dealing with and embracing the tough stuff life perpetually throws our way – a theme that has been more than relevant in my life ever since walking across that stage last May.

So, without further ado, my favorite excerpt from my favorite book to help reassure you that what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

“Winning makes you think you’ll always get the girl, land the job, deposit the million-dollar check, win the promotion, and you grow accustomed to a life of answered prayers. Loss is a fiercer, more uncompromising teacher, coldhearted but clear-eyed in its understanding that life is more dilemma than game, and more trial than free pass.

There is no teacher more discriminating or transforming than loss…Losing prepares you for the heartbreak, setback and tragedy that you will encounter in the world more than winning ever can. By licking your wounds you learn how to avoid getting wounded the next time. Loss invites reflection and reformulating and a change of strategies. Loss hurts and bleeds and aches. Loss is always ready to call out your name in the night. Loss follows you home and taunts you at the breakfast table, follows you to work in the morning.

You have to take the word loser and add it to your resume and walk around with it on your name tag as it hand-feeds you your own shit in dosages too large for even great beasts to swallow. The word loser follows you, bird-dogs you, sniffs you out of whatever fields you hide in because you have to face things clearly and you cannot turn away from what is true.”