The New England Patriots had a perfect undefeated season in 2007.
They had won 18 games in a row and were considered by analysts as the greatest team in NFL history. Despite being overwhelming favourites to win the final, they lost narrowly to the New York Giants 14-17. When it came to the game that mattered most, I always wondered that if they had lost a game previously which didn’t matter, if it would have won them the Super Bowl when it counted.
Failure is a fact of life and has a negative stigma to western societies. However, failure is a great teacher and only afterwards do we become greater learners. Failure helps us discover more about ourselves and forces us to make necessary changes. And failure can teach us that we are human and are not perfect no matter how good and perfect we think we are.
Failure is an event, never a person. It is only when you stop, throw in the towel, refuse to learn and quit does failure win. Henry Ford once said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”. Failure doesn’t mean the game is over, it means try again with experience
Failure is an important stepping stone to greatness. Thomas Edison famously took 10,000 attempts to create the lightbulb. Did it really matter that it took so many attempts? That actually sounds like a lot. But he later said “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
Proverbs 24:16 – For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. But the wicked stumble in time of calamity.
Sometimes the harder you fall, the stronger you rise. Failure is never final if we are persistent and courageous to keep going not matter the opinions of others. FAIL is spelt “First - Attempt - In - Learning”.
Someone who has never failed has never learned. I can learn more from one failure than 10 success stories. Why? Because I am forced to rethink my values and beliefs, and to be creative in finding new ways to achieve my objective.
Failure only defines people if they make what they do apart of their identity. If what they do matters more than who they are, they are in big trouble. For no matter how good you are, the day will come when you fail and it will feel like your world is falling apart!
Today, don’t ever believe that failure is a failure of who you are and your identity. See it positively as a learning experience which is setting you up for the moments that really count, so you can lift your own personal Super Bowl.