I was inspired to write this after reading a great post from Seth Godin. I found myself confirming the validity and significance of what he wrote, yet also the opportunity for improvement in my life. Here is an excerpt from the article,
“Genius is actually the eventual public recognition of dozens (or hundreds) of failed attempts at solving a problem. Sometimes we fail in public, often we fail in private, but people who are doing creative work are constantly failing.”
If this is true and I believe it is, what should we do about the two major stumbling blocks to greatness?
- The fear of failure.
- The fear of what others might think of us.
The answer: Keep the right perspective.
John Maxwell said, “A difficult time can be more readily endured if we retain the conviction that our existence holds a purpose – a cause to pursue, a person to love, a goal to achieve.”
This perspective provides the motivation necessary for us to rise above the fear, to get back up after we fail, learn from it and move on. We must do our best to clarify, review and renew our commitment to that purpose. When the purpose is more important than our fears and when we realize that accomplishing it requires us to courageously face our fears and fail over and over and over again, we will welcome those fears and failures.
Learn from it but do not get discouraged because of it. Keep swinging the bat, making the call, serving others, doing the research, writing, reading, making the speech. Keep kicking, shooting, throwing, hitting or catching the ball… keep trying, keep learning, keep getting back up, do not be discouraged. Every time you fail you are one step closer to winning! One step closer.
It’s just as important for us to instill this perspective into our children and those we influence. Be an encourager. Discipline your children and those you love as you must, but do not discourage them. Do not make their mistake seem so big that they fear failing, more than they want to try again and again. Practice the art of helping them to learn from their mistakes while encouraging them to be resilient and to retain the conviction that their existence holds a purpose and to be bold and courageous in the pursuit of it.
The point is, greatness comes through failure. Go fail yourself to greatness while encouraging and inspiring others to do the same!