Ravens and Lions fans are hurting. They were so close to seeing their teams win title games and vault into the Super Bowl. But they didn’t.
Maybe it was a fumbled football, a dropped pass, a missed tackle, or in the case of the Lions two gambles that didn’t pay off. But those teams failed. It’s of little solace, but if you haven’t failed you will never succeed. Because you haven’t tried.
I want to talk about failure… as a fuse to success.
Thomas Edison failed more than 2,000 times in his light bulb experiments before succeeding.
Abraham Lincoln, who had only 18 months of formal education, overcame depression, constant defeat, his fiancé’s suicide, and even a civil war … and yet became perhaps the nation’s greatest president.
Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was 5 …was a HS drop out at 16…never knew how to drive a car…and was once viewed as retarded by his family, who wanted to put him into a home for developmentally disabled citizens.
Elvis was once rejected by the Grand Old Opry’s Jim Denny who viewed Presley as a “stuttering mama’s boy who’d be better off driving a truck because he’d never be a singer.”
Shakespeare’s greatest work was “Hamlet,” which was regarded as an artistic failure in its day.
A woman named Gail, was abused as a child, and an unwed mother at 14, saw two of her family members die of AIDs or drugs and fired as a game show host. You know Gail, better known as Oprah Winfrey, the most successful TV host in history…
J.K. Rowling lived on a subway as a homeless woman who would fight poverty and despair to write the Harry Potter novels, among the most successful in literary history. Rowling once talked about ‘the fringe benefits of failure,’ and it is deeply inspiring.
“So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And, so, rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.
Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected. I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.”
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill.