Turning Failure Into Success

I will begin today with the story of a man who tried, but failed. This poor basketball player says… “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot…and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life”.

Don’t you feel sorry for this individual? I wouldn’t often embarrass someone by telling all of my readers about his failure. I have nothing against this person, but I’m going to put him on the spot and share his name with everyone. His name is Michael Jordan.

Yes I am talking about that Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time. Even if you don’t follow basketball, you are probably aware that this player has won multiple championships, broken countless records, and is regarded by most as the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. The above statistics are completely true. This great player has failed many times. Yet it’s obvious that he didn’t let it stop him.

I am realizing more each day that one of the greatest keys in life is exactly that…don’t let failure stop you. I am also realizing more each day that failure is unavoidable. The only ones who avoid failure are the ones that don’t try to progress in the first place. That’s a great way to avoid failure, but an even better way to avoid living the high quality life you want to live.

The simple fact is this. The people who have earned the greatest success in life failed numerous times along the way. I’ve read that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting some of his greatest inventions. Many modern day actors, performers, and athletes were unable to make their high school plays or sports teams and told that they would never amount to anything.

A prominent CEO of a large company said the formula for success is doubling your rate of failure. If you do experience failure you have two choices. One is to give up. Two is to use it as a motivation to keep trying. I deliberately left out the last part of the Michael Jordan quote above. At the end of it, he said, “that’s why I succeed”. It’s because he uses it as a motivator to keep going. It’s obvious that he did not let failure get the best of him or bring him down.

The lesson I’ve learned from this that I share with you is this…if you are not failing, you are not trying. Failure is ok, as long as you use it to learn and move on instead of letting it drag you down and cause you to give up. If we want to take ourselves to the next level in life, we need to take ourselves into unfamiliar territory. We don’t exactly know what to do when we get there. As a result, we are bound to make mistakes. If you do, acknowledge it, learn from it, and use that new knowledge and experience to take the next step.

Do people remember Michael Jordan for all of those shots he missed, or those games he lost? Absolutely not. Instead, he is remembered for his extremely high level of success. Instead of dwelling on the failure, he learned from it and used it as a motivation to take the next steps to success. If you follow that same formula, you will be known for your success as well. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

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4 Responses to Turning Failure Into Success

  1. I totally agree – personally speaking, thank goodness we get numerous chances to make things better :)!

  2. Thank you Joe for reminding us of Michael Jordan’s story. I needed that. Great post!

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