When I was in the 4th grade there was a kid in my class named James. He lived close to me so I would go over to his house from time to time as well. He looked like every other kid, but there was something different about him. He was crippled. Not physically crippled, but crippled from experiencing anything in life.
James’ mom would always open his kid’s meal toys for him before he even had a chance to try. She would tie his shoes even though he said he knew how to do it. If he was on the playground she would lift him up to the monkey bars so he wouldn’t have to climb because she was afraid he might fall. She would always go ahead of him to make sure nothing was even the slightest bit difficult because she was so scared that he would end up failing.
Eventually we joined tee ball and were placed on the same team. The first time James went up to bat he swung as hard as he could and missed the ball completely. A few of the kids snickered, but James was completely devastated.
He was never given the chance to fail on a small scale, so his first taste of not succeeding was on a public scale and it was too much for him to handle. He quit the team and continued down a path of trying to be sheltered from any challenge or any obstacle.
We all have a fear of failing. No one enjoys a lack of success. But without failure, not only would we never grow, but we’d never truly appreciate success.
Imagine if every day treated like your birthday. Believe it or not, eventually you’d get tired of the cake and the festivities. You’d probably start to dream of a day to yourself where people weren’t singing in your face. If every day was the best day of your life, then it would no longer be the best day of your life. If you never have the chance to fail, then you never have a chance to grow and figure out where you could improve or become a better person. Anyone that’s notable in history has failed along their way to success.
The Beatles were turned away by the Decca Recording Company because they were told that a guitar-driven band’s sound was on the way out.
Clint Eastwood was told he’d never make it as an actor because he had a chipped tooth and lacked charisma.
Einstein failed his college entry exam.
Henry Ford’s first car had doors that wouldn’t close, a hood that wouldn’t open, the horn kept sticking, and there was no reverse gear.
Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team.
Ulysses S. Grant failed as a farmer and a real estate agent before eventually becoming a US President.
Abraham Lincoln at 22 had a failed business. At 23 he ran for legislation and lost. At 24 he had another failed business. At 26 his longtime sweetheart died. At 27 he had a nervous breakdown. At 29 he ran for Speaker of the House and lost. At 31 he ran for Elector and lost. At 34 he ran for Congress and lost. At 36 he ran for Congress again and lost. At 46 he ran for Senate and lost. At 47 he ran for Vice President and lost. At 48 he ran for Senate again and lost. Then at 51 he became President of the United States.
What you have to realize is that failure isn’t final. It’s not a matter of IF you will experience failure in your life, it’s WHEN. If you have a breath left in your body then you still have a chance to get up from your failure. The best baseball players in the world only get a hit 30% of the time. No matter what you’ve done or what your life looks like right now, it’s not too late for you. Everyone loves a comeback story, so why not start yours today?