Failure is a part of success. – Hank Aaron
What does that mean?
This quote is from one of America’s leading baseball players in the mid 1950’s through the mid 1970’s. He made the All-Star team for 21 consecutive seasons. He won 3 Golden Glove awards for best fielder.
He won the Most Valuable Player award. He and his team won the World Series. He was a two-time Batting Champion, and four-time Home Run Champion. Yes, he knew success. The list of honors and achievements would fill this post, but you can look those up online (click on his name).
He also knew failure. He knew that despite his abilities as a hitter, he was still going to fail to get on base more often than not. He knew that he wasn’t going to win every game. But he also knew that failure what part of success, and that without working through the failures, you’d never know success.
Why is failure important?
There’s a saying about never failing, and it concludes that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. You’re only doing the easy things, only taking the sure bets. In short, you’re not living up to your potential by any measure of it. You’re letting yourself down.
Failure is a great way to measure your success. If you try something and it works, you’ll keep doing the exact same thing until it stops working, right? You may be only just barely succeeding, but never know how much better your results might be if you tried something a little different.
Failure helps us hone our skills, and narrow the possible paths as we try to find our way to success. Failure helps us stay motivated, or it can crush our will, depending on if we see failure as a way to find success or the end of the line.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Where in your life do you view failure as a bad thing? Well, for skydiving and grenade throwing, failure could be pretty bad, but for most everything else, I would hope you take it as a learning experience. At least that’s what I try to do, and it’s worked fairly well for me.
Take a moment and consider all of your successes and what lead up to them. How many of those successes are built on multiple failures? How about the successes you are most proud of? Do they have fewer or more failures building up to the success?
For me, every significant success was built on a long string of failures. Even things I got right the first time, like asking my present wife to marry me, was built on the failure of my first marriage. And that was quite a ‘learning experience,’ let me tell you!
And it was built on all the discussions we had prior to me asking. Those conversations were a mix of success and failure, and I built up a pretty good idea of what her answer would be before I even asked. I imagine you have a similar track record of failures building towards success, if you look hard enough and deep enough.
Some failures you only make once, and you learn a lot from it. Others are not so memorable, and you make the same, or very similar, mistakes over again. Such is life as an imperfect human. Eventually, if we keep learning and keep trying, we get the hang of it, and find success.
Back to the successes you have experienced in your life. When you dig deep, did you find a few failures that helped guide you to your eventual success? I know that I did. But what about it? Everyone fails from time to time. Why make such a big deal of it?
Well, if you already use your failures as examples of what not to do, and learn quickly from them, you already know the lesson. If you can apply it to nearly any and every situation you encounter, then you already have made this a part of your life.
For everyone else, this is an opportunity to examine how you deal with failure. Does it excite you, now that you are one step closer to success, or does it depress you, because you aren’t any closer to success? That’s the two sides of this particular coin.
The question is how you react, and how often you react in that manner. When are you more likely to treat a failure as a learning experience and when are you more likely to treat it as a major setback? Yes, I know it is situational, but which is your usual path?
The idea is to try to train yourself to treat these things in a manner which provides you with benefit, not detriment. It won’t always be easy, just as it wasn’t easy to live through the hate and anger as he closed in on Babe Ruth’s home run record, and the long off season, just one home run shy of tying it.
But if you can find the strength and courage to keep going, despite failure, and make the most of your opportunities, success won’t elude you for long. Are you up for it? Are you up to it? Are you going to get up and do it?
Failure is out there. Failure is waiting for you. How will you treat it, as an enemy, or a teacher?
From: Twitter, @SportsMotto
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/h/hankaaron452217.html
Photo by Untitled blue
Happy Birthday to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, born 5 February, 1934.