I heard a commercial recently where the company said, “Failure is an option.” As soon as I heard it, I knew I liked it.
Michael Jordan used to say, “I succeed because I have failed.” Because he wasn’t afraid to fail, he wanted the ball in his hands at the end of the game. He was fearless because he was not afraid to fail.
John Wooden’s college coach at Purdue, Piggy Lambert, used to teach that the team that makes the most mistakes wins, a statement that would make most of today’s basketball coaches cringe. But his point was that if you’re playing aggressive and attacking basketball, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s okay. Don’t let the mistakes get you down. Just keep on attacking.
Often we learn more from failure than success.
I once played for a coach who constantly criticized me and my teammates. His continuous yelling could sometimes take away from your aggressiveness because you knew if you failed you would never hear the end of it. I learned a great deal from that coach on how I did not want to coach. It turned out to be a great learning experience.
I disagree with some of today’s educators who are so much into student’s self-esteem that they strive to take failure out of the students’ lives. I think they are cheating the kids. Like all of us, their students will meet with failure in their lives, both personal and professional. Instead of eliminating failure would it not be much more beneficial to teach kids how to deal with it? Learn from it, put it behind you, and move on.
Failure is an option. It is prevalent in business, in athletics, and in every phase of our lives. So, let’s not fear it but learn from it, and continue to aggressively strive for excellence.