Risking Failure…To Succeed
"I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I've been entrusted to take the game winning shot...and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life and that is precisely why I succeed." -Michael Jordan
Is there anyone reading this who doesn't know the name Michael Jordan? Probably not. His fame transcends generations and passions. I do not follow sports at all, yet I know this man's name. I'm in my 40s, my father just turned 70 and my daughter is 12. We all know this man's name. His success is that great. Yet he can give you the statistics on his failures.
How do failures affect your life, your mindset, your mood? Do they limit you or do you embrace them as a step to success?
Last week I received an amazing gift...the opportunity to do something for which I am uniquely gifted, but not at all "trained." In an age where education is king and the diploma holds sway, I do not take that gift lightly. I began to trace back the steps that led to this moment.
Over the years, I've been blessed with opportunities that encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone. Each step outside my comfort zone risked failure. At first, I thought long and hard, carefully measuring each potential failure. I had to decide if the rejection was worth the risk. Rejections did come. But with each rejection, I was left standing. Not really any worse for the wear.
A little over a year ago, one individual was instrumental in changing my mindset. I no longer viewed the opportunities as a chance to fail, but as a chance to succeed. I began to think long and hard, carefully measuring each potential success. I had to decide if success was worth the risk. Successes did come.
Reread those last two paragraphs. Three sentences in each paragraph are exactly the same, with the exception of just one word. Mindset is crucial.
I stopped focusing on the failures and rejections and began focusing on the successes. As a result, I began taking more risks. Failures still come, but now more successes come, too.
Failure is not so big a deal as we make it. Failure is merely the opportunity to try again.
"It's OK to fail, but you can't quit...and most importantly, you can't quit on yourself." -Christopher Gardner
Christopher Gardner's name is not so commonplace as Michael Jordan's. You may not know the name, but I bet you know his story. Christopher Gardner's life was profiled in the movie, "The Pursuit of Happyness." He went from a struggling salesman and homeless single dad to a multimillionaire.
So what's your story?