Jan 23, 2017 / Life


Failure is a big dirty word in our society.

We live in a time and age where we are constantly aware of other’s success. It’s easy to find a story of a nobody becoming a somebody overnight. People go from having nothing to having everything everyday.

Society celebrates these people. They’re held up as self-made heroes who unlocked some secret that vaulted them to success.

We rarely see the grind of what it took for successful people to achieve success. That’s why I love this quote:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

The man who’s considered the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) dealt with failure. It’s hard to argue that anyone achieved more success than Michael Jordan:

  • 6 NBA Championships
  • 5 MVP Awards
  • 6 NBA Finals MVP Awards
  • 3 All Star MVP Awards

All of this and he still failed over and over. What does this tell us?

Success is not negated by failure.

There’s really two types of failure here. Failure at an attempt, and total failure (which is what we’re really afraid of). Total failure is not ever achieving what we want.

I think we’re so afraid of failure because we see failure at an attempt as in indication of total failure.

If I fail in this business I’ll never succeed as a business owner…

If I fail to make the team I’ll never achieve anything as an athlete…

If I fail to be liked by these people nobody will be my friend…

If I fail in this relationship I’m a failure at relationships…

When we project total failure from an instance of failure that’s when we negate our chances at success. Nobody has ever achieved anything worthwhile without failing at it a few times!

The only way that failure wins is if we stop trying. Don’t be deterred by failure! Don’t let an event of failure turn into projecting total failure.

Michael Jordan walked off the court over 300 times losing a game…26 of those because he was trusted to make the last second shot and he let his team down. But even he admits that failure led him to success.

What can we learn from our failure? How can we turn it into motivation the next time we have a chance?

We can succeed in spite of our failures.