Failure is not Fatal
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
One of the great gifts we can bestow on others is the gift of enthusiasm around failures. I know this sounds contrary to, well, every instinct we have. But given how much valuable information each of our failures can contain, it is no wonder that some of our greatest success stories actually came to celebrate failure.
I’m not just talking about President Lincoln; his repeated failures before his presidency are well-documented. I’m talking about teachers, business leaders, yogis, pilots…everyone who’s ultimately successful at any endeavor has failed their way into it.
Ever hear the story about Sara Blakely, my fellow Atlanta who started Spanx? With $5k, she started cutting off the bottom parts of her pantyhose, and created a billion-dollar underwear revolution. One of the secrets to her success? Failing. She tells a story about how during dinnertime growing up, her father would ask all the kids what they failed at that day. If they hadn’t failed at anything, they were in trouble with Dad. He wanted his children to be such daring, curious risk-takers that they were never afraid of failing; they were enthusiastic about it instead.
What’s one thing new you can try today? One new word to a co-worker? A new question for your teenager? A new response to your toddler’s whines, or your husband’s?
Peace begins with pause,