fail·ure

fail·ure

–noun

1. an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. the campaign was a failure.

Above is the definition of failure from the dictionary . Failure seems to be such a hot topic these days. There are evangelists out there that seem to see failure as no big deal. There are claims that failure leads to success and every successful person experiences many failures. There are ideas that we should just expect to fail if we want to succeed. On the other hand, there are evangelists that claim we have no need for failure. These ideas proclaim we must be success driven, and success focused.

What bothers me is that all the articles and information about success and failure seem to either hold them as mutually exclusive, or want to lump them together. You can either be a success or a failure – or you can only have success if you fail. What I don’t find much is the idea that they really coexist in many cases. Can you imagine if the coach of a professional athletic team told the media, “we know that failure is part of success, so we expect to loose quite a few games before we win one”. It would be just as crazy to hear, “we expect success only. We won’t loose a single game”.

Maybe coach Denny Green really did say it best when he stated, “we play to win the game”.

Success is really found in the ability to hold these two ides simultaneously, isn’t it? Why can’t we fully believe and expect  to succeed, and at the same time understand that failure happens an we must learn from it.

If we hold failure as the key to success, this only leads to the shotgun effect on ideas. We’ll just try everything in hopes that something will stick. If we play enough games, we have to win one eventually.

If we hold success as the only option, it leaves no room for learning and growth. We simply can’t accept failure and this leads to all sorts of problems and issues.

If we hold these ideas simultaneously, then we can find the sweet spot. To achieve success we should expect it, and at the same time learn and accept our failures.

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