Michael Jordan happens to be one of the most famous athletes of all time. One of the most successful. I mean who else had their own movie with the Looney Tunes? Oh and a little Olympic Gold medal. It's funny though and a bit incredible that the man who has been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and is one of Basketball's 50 Best Players has "failed" over and over again in the midst of a stellar career.
So what exactly is failure? Is it the amount of times that things don't work out the way we imagined? Failure has always had the most negative of all connotations. It's been meant to describe not having it all...lacking in some way what is needed to be a 'success.' None of us want to fail. None of us want to graduate from college and have to move in with our parents because there aren't jobs to be had. None of us want to get that email with the rejection you knew was going to come but you hoped would say something different.
Last week my husband was on a business trip which meant it was just me at home with our daughter. Everyone who has a toddler can understand how tough that gets. I was exhausted. Beyond exhausted. She was having what we call a 'no no day.' Super rough. I was mentally exhausted. So I skipped my workout that evening. The thing is I knew better. I could have dragged myself out to the garage and worked out. But I didn't. So by all conventional accounts I failed dismally. But the next day when I was still exhausted I went willing into the garage and worked my butt off. I thought about my wasted day yesterday and resolved to work harder. Failing became motivation.
I read a quote the other day, "If you fail, you're in good company" and it listed people like Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan himself, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, The Beatles, and JK Rowling. It read like a list of the most successful people of our time. It was a list of those that didn't allow failures to define them...that instead built their success upon.
I'm encouraging failing. I'm encouraging trying something new and failing miserably. The limb you're dreaming about going out on (you know what I'm talking about) that one that looks super thin...but also incredibly exciting and adventurous...GO OUT ON IT. Maybe...just maybe...it's a little stronger than you think.
Oh and MJ ended up making 38,541 career points. That makes his 9000 (23 %) missed shots seem pretty dismal.
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