Success, Failure, and Stagnation

To begin with, let me give you the definition for success according to Google Definitions:
 Success: The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

 Now how can you fail if the failure itself is what brought you to succeed? You can’t fail as long as you look at every situation as a learning experience leading to success. However, if you are unaware of how to learn from the experience, you simply stagnate in a false reality. When you’re able to think and learn from your experiences, you’re able to brush off the unsuccessful short term experience knowing that those very experiences will help you understand the desired success over time.  

 I wish I could go back to high school sports to apply this one simple concept, because I was always afraid of failure or imperfection in those years. My way of making up for it was by acting like a cocky, arrogant rebel to mask my insecurities and self doubt. Even when I won, I was still looking at it as failure because all I cared about was being perfect instead of doing the best I could and learning from all the experiences along the way, win or lose.     

 The sad thing is that you look at most levels of sports nowadays and it seems like there is a succeed or die mindset. If you make one mistake, you’re out of the lineup, which encourages others to fear imperfection that much more and keeps players from achieving their true potential over the season or future years of play. Most sports have nothing to do with teaching kids about the learning process that leads to lifetime success. Is it really winning if you put yourself through physical and emotional stress just to get a title or reward that loses its value as soon as you achieve it? Or would you consider true success to be the process it took to become a better athlete by becoming a better person or learning leadership skills to apply to the rest of your life?   

 Sometimes in order for people to grow long-term they need a bit of failure in the short-term. It takes a true leader to guide a person through an experience in which they have the responsibility to carry out a relatively minor task to one in which a failure could be used as a great learning experience without crushing their confidence. This shows them what doesn’t work in the short term will ultimately allow them to discover what truly works over a lifetime. The student will then build his own separate repertoire of universal truths to add to and refine throughout his experiences in life.  

 I was fortunate to be introduced to leadership at a young age by a few great coaches and people that led me to realize that personal growth is the key to success over a lifetime. I wish I had pursued it even more and at a younger age, but now all I can do is work at it everyday from here on out

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