I have made some pretty bad decisions in my life.
I made a terrible career choice early in my life based on short-sightedness & a lack of support of others around me to shoot higher.
I will never forget casually mentioning to my wife one morning on what was the anniversary of my joining that organization. Her response was, “You being in that job was a waste of your life and you could have been so much more”.
I remember thinking that decision will not define me or my future. My failure will not define my life!’ I put it down to a lesson and thought failures have never defined any great person’s life.
Failures Don’t Define The Person.
The failures of Tom Brady or Lebron James do not define them, their incredible stats and careers do. They have made hundreds of wrong decisions over their careers but they are always willing to stand up when needed.
Everyone in life fails. We all miss the mark and fall short sometimes. But we don’t define life by the misses; we define life by the bulls-eyes, by the targets we hit, the slam dunks, the deals done, and the lives we affect in a positive way.
Einstein & The Chalkboard
There is the story of Albert Einstein writing on a chalkboard one day whilst giving a university lecture. He wrote,
09 = 9 x 1
18 = 9 x 2
27 = 9 x 3
36 = 9 x 4
45 = 9 x 5
54 = 9 x 6
63 = 9 x 7
72 = 9 x 8
81 = 9 x 9
91 = 9 x 10
It didn’t take long before there were sniggers and laughter from the class. The great Albert Einstein was incorrect. The last answer is 90 and not 91.
Albert waited for the class to settle down and said, “No one applauded me even though I had correctly evaluated the first nine questions, nevertheless, when I missed one question, everyone started laughing, this implies that even if a person is extremely successful, society will notice and relish their tiniest mistake.
The Journey Of Dan Rhodes & Dave Thomas
There is a great story involving two men, Dan Rhodes and Dave Thomas, who met long before Thomas opened up his first Wendy’s store. Thomas is the entrepreneur behind the worldwide Wendy’s franchise.
Rhodes admitted he always knew that young Thomas would make it big, but he passed up the opportunity to invest in Wendy’s.
Some years later Rhodes met Colonel Sanders and had a chance to invest before it went public. Rhodes turned down that opportunity as well because there were many ideas and strategies that he didn’t agree with.
Later when Rhodes was in the restaurant business, he met a salesman by the name of Ray Kroc. Rhodes thought that Kroc was a nice guy, but at a time when fries and a hamburger were not a popular meal choice, he did not invest in Kroc’s little hamburger joint called McDonalds.
A few years later, Rhodes met an attorney from Seattle who invited Rhodes to invest in his son’s new little-known computer software company. It was called Microsoft; again, Rhodes declined the offer.
Right now, I bet most people would be thinking that Rhodes was a fool. But he learned from his mistakes and kept pursuing his dreams.
Eventually, Rhodes saw his name on Forbes Magazine’s list of the 400 most successful business owners in America. He didn’t let his failures define his life.
It’s Your Life
Now, this is a question I want to ask you. What moment will define your life? Will it be your failures at school – college, career choice? Will it be a broken relationship, missed opportunity, the loss of a loved one?
You can’t let moments of negativity define your life. You must make those moments your foundations for a great purpose. Start seeing your failure as an investment in the future, of lessons learned. You will most certainly get another chance to build again, make your comebacks bigger than your setbacks.
To your success
Well done and so very true David. A great reminder of we are not alone in failure, everyone fails at some stage, but don’t let it define you, rise from it. Thank you for the reminder.
So many people try something, don’t succeed at first which is natural, then throw it in and move to the next thing. This pattern repeats and then the person’s self-esteem is affected and they don’t try anything again.