March 16, 2011

Learning from Failing

Day 75: 27.3 miles/1:33

A man can fail many time, but he is only a failure when he gives up.” — unknown

If being successful was easy, everyone would be.  It is possible for anyone to be successful; however, it requires having a clear goal and the unrelenting determination to get there.  Success is not about simply realizing accomplishment, it is about learning from and moving forward following failures.

A failure is not the end, unless we allow it to be the end.  We will not always be wildly or even minimally successful on everything we work on toward on goal.  In fact, it is possible, maybe even likely, that we will hit some monumental roadblocks that look like dead ends.  Each one of these is a learning opportunity and a challenge.  It may look like failure; but, it is only failure if we let it stop us from moving forward to our goal.  If we quit on our goal, then we have failed.  But, cannot never be a failure unless we quit.

This little insightful quote speaks right at me.  I know from my past experiences that when I accomplish something, it is because, despite a couple of setbacks, I stay determined and focus to the outcome.  When I do, I always hit my goal.  When I let the setback derail my focus to the point where I stop pushing, I fail – I quit.

A few years ago I had a business opportunity that was exactly what I had been working toward.  When I had the opportunity to meet with the decision maker, the interview and conversation was a total bust.  I had failed the most important test quite miserably.  In many cases, I likely would have given up.  However, in this situation I was determined that I could recover.  I made some phone calls, enlisted the support and guidance of others, and found a way to get in front of this key executive one more time.  This time I was more prepared, more focused, and more passionate than the last time.  My commitment to this opportunity was clear and I was able to secure the opportunity.  I could have allowed failure to be the story.  Instead, I used the failure as a learning experience and made certain that I would find a way to successfully accomplish what I had set out to do.

As we work on our goals, we will fail, we will fall down, and we will meet with obstacles that frustrate and stop us.  These are only failures in our mission if we stop working on our mission.  Otherwise these are merely learning opportunities that test and challenge our resolve to realize our success.  I encourage not to let setbacks derail you; but, to use them as springboards to push you forward and keep you on your journey.  It won’t always be easy, but it is better giving up on your goals.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.