Failure is an Option

There is a commercial on TV from a Pizza Chain.

The main idea is that failure is not a bad idea, it is an option.

We have all heard the quote, “Failure is not an option”, but that is not the way the world works.

If you never risk failure, you limit you chances to succeed.

I love the following quote, by Teddy Roosevelt.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

I tell students that you learn more from a loss than you do from a victory. When you win, you are happy, but you don’t really think about why you won. When you lose, you replay the match over and over in your mind. You are motivated to fix what went wrong. I have seen the following happen over and over again; two competitors place 1st and 2nd in a match at a State Tournament. They meet again at National, and the outcome is reversed. 1St place at State loses to the one that placed 2nd, when they face each other at Nationals.

How does that happen? The winner at State didn’t continue to work as hard as the one they beat. 2Nd place practiced more, remembering their loss, looking forward to facing again the one that beat them.

Failure is bad when you allow it to control you.

Thomas Edison had much to say about failure and success. Here are two quotes by him on the subject.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Here are some other famous people on failure being a key to success.

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.“

George S. Patton

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan

Here is one that I say students all the time;

I ask them if they want to be a black belt. If they say yes, I ask them if they know the difference between a white belt and a black belt. When they shake their head, I tell them that a black belt is a white belt that didn’t quit.

How about you? Will you rise above your failures to find success?

Failure is an option, that can lead to success, when you refuse to give up.

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