Joe Swail was quick to look to the future after his fine UK Championship run ended with a defeat in the last 16 by Martin Gould.
Belfast veteran Swail, the world number 58, won two scrappy frames to lead 2-1.
But world number 24 Gould, drew level with a 63, scored a superb 131 to go 3-2 up and rattled off three of the next four frames for a comprehensive win.
Swail, 46, told BBC Sport: "I am definitely taking the positives out of this.
"It is a massive stepping stone for me considering where I have been in the last few years."
Ten-time ranking event semi-finalist Swail won three matches to reach the fourth round at the York Barbican and was thrilled with his return to form after sliding down the rankings in recent years.
Laser eye surgery has helped get his game back on track and Swail was in bullish mood despite Thursday's setback.
"There is no way I am too disappointed," Swail added. "I am looking forward to the rest of my career - whatever years I have left.
"I am giving these young ones a good game and am enjoying it."
Swail admitted world number 24 Gould, who beat fellow Northern Ireland player Mark Allen in round three, deserved to win.
"Good luck to him, he played very well - much better than I did," Swail said.
"I was 2-1 up but was not sure how and I had a couple of good chances to go 3-1 up and I made a mess of them and that cost me dearly.
"Had I been 3-1 up it would have been a comfortable situation and he would have been bang under pressure, but he won that frame and that kind of gave him the chance and he capitalised and played very well."