Failure is not an option

Thomas Edison made 1,000 useless light bulbs before making light. Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before inventing the Model T. Jerry Seinfeld was booed off stage his first time at a comedy club. Twelve publishers rejected J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Failure is not optional; it happens to everyone. Samuel Beckett said, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

But this does not only apply to life.

Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots in his career (26 of them were to win the game). Babe Ruth led the Major League in strikeouts way before he led it in homeruns. Troy Aikman threw twice as many interceptions as he threw touchdowns and did not win a single game his first season. Hank Aaron went 0-5 in his first Major League game.

And yet our society teaches our youth that no one fails. Everybody wins and everybody gets a trophy. The kids of our generation do not understand that you will not win every game because they are told as long as they try thats good enough. “Failure is okay” is misinterpreted as a time to make excuses. No one cares if you succeed or not, as long you try your best. We teach kids if they strike out swinging its better than striking out looking and its okay that they did not make any shots, at least they tried. Our society does not accept failure so we say we “tried” and call it good enough.

But, every game has a winner and a loser and it’s okay to be the loser, because sometimes the other team is better. However, this is not an opportunity to makes excuses, failure should be used as fuel and make one determined to try harder and win the next time.

Instead, we teach kids that if they fail they should make excuses. This warped philosophy of follows them throughout their career. Instead of trying hard they let their work go and make excuses for why it’s “good enough.”

We need to teach kids from the time that they are young, that failure is okay. We need to teach them to deal with failure by trying again and working harder instead of giving up and making excuses. Life is hard enough without learning how to fail and if the first time a kid fails is on the t-ball field life will be a lot easier than if their first failure is at a big corporate meeting.