Tuesday, October 24, 2006

LIVING SAVVY -- A Little Failure Never Hurt Anyone

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -- Robert F. Kennedy
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. -- Winston Churchill

I'm always interested in observing how people handle setbacks. My son, Drew (the 10-year-old Mad Scientist) is such a perfectionist that if something in one of his projects doesn't turn out right, he throws everything down and walks away. For about a day. But then he invariably picks up the project with renewed enthusiasm and, more importantly, a better sense of how to succeed.

That's the key. Maybe kids get it instinctually and only lose that persistence after years of failure without perspective. Here's something I once read in the Wall Street Journal that provides that encouragement everyone needs:
"You've failed many times although you may not remember. You fell the first time you tried to walk, didn't you? You almost drowned the first time you tried to swim. Did you hit the ball the first time you swung the bat? Heavy hitters, the ones who hit the most home runs, also struck out a lot. Babe Ruth struck out 1330 times, but he also hit 714 home runs.R. H. Macy failed seven times before his store in New York caught on. English novelist John Cracey got 753 rejection slips before he published 564 books. Don't worry about failure. Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try."

A life with little failure is a life with little risk. We were designed to take chances--it's when we start accepting the results that we really fail.

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