“I fail over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” – E.O. Wilson
A lot of people don’t ever attempt to strive for their dreams because they live in fear that they will fail, they will fall short of what is possible. Instead of taking the steps necessary to make their goals a reality, they never take a single step. They sit fossilized on the fence of “reasons” as to why it can’t be done.
I wonder what Thomas Edison would say to them?
Imagine if he’d just given up after several attempts or even 100 attempts at refining the filament for the electric light bulb, “Oh it’s not working, I’ll just give up!” instead of the 10,000 refinements it took to eventually achieve success. We’d all be sitting around in the dark right now.
Thanks to his persistence, his failures over and over and over again, he got the feedback necessary to get one step closer each time to the outcome he was looking for and we all benefit from his persistence and tenacity today.
Success can only occur through our learning from mistakes and then using those mistakes to make the course corrections necessary to get the results we are seeking. It will never happen if we simply give up or if we don’t ever make an attempt in the first place. Each time we fall down, fall short, make a mistake, take a wrong turn, fail at something it gives us the necessary feedback on what we need to do to change our outcome. By refining our strategies little by little, we begin to build a foundation of small “wins” which over time leads eventually to our overall success.
When Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mt Everest, achieved this great feat, did he do in 1 single leap, or in 1 day, or even in 1 month? It took years of climbing experience and multiple “failures” along the way before he had the strategy of success that would get him to the top of the mountain. Did he learn a lot along the way? Absolutely! Did he ever give up? Never!
Michael Jordan one of the greatest basketball players ever, missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. He lost more than 300 games. 26 times he was trusted to take the winning shot for the game and missed. His accomplishments include 6 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards and 10 scoring titles (both all-time records) 5 MVP Awards, 10 All-NBA First Team designations, 9 All-Defensive First Team honors, 14 NBA All-Star Game selections and 3 All-Star Game MVP Awards. In 2014, He became the first billionaire player in NBA history.
All the greatest luminaries of our time have achieved success by staying focused on the outcomes they wanted and not giving any credence to the obstacles that stood in their way. Instead they took their failures as feedback on what needed to change in order to create a platform of “wins.” They continued on this path of taking action, course correcting, and refining their strategies until success became evident. Even after their initial success they still continued striving, refining and creating more for themselves and for those around them.
What have you learned from your failures? How are you using what you’ve learned to create success for yourself and others? What greatness will you achieve by doing this?