Don’t Fail At Failure In 2016

Failure sucks. If we set a goal, we’d much rather achieve it than not. But whatever you do, don’t fail at failure. Huh? Read on.

I read famous quotes about ‘failure being the key to success’ with some scepticism. I kind of understand. You have to ‘have a go,’ and often you’ll land on your bum. So, pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Go again. That’s how champions do it. Still sucks though.

Unless, that is, we get much better at one aspect of failure. The only place I see it done brilliantly is at the Olympics. It’s there that failure is embraced. And that’s what we should do.

We have to become brilliant at losing.

Someone loses the 100 metre sprint. They come second. Yet they beam, wave and hug, and pose for multitudes of photos. They are delighted. They step up on the podium, having lost, and everyone cheers. They get ‘Silver’, or ‘Bronze,’ and kiss it.

That’s the attitude I love about losing. Celebrate it. Don’t skulk off into the shadows, head hanging low, gritted teeth, determined to fight back, to seek revenge and triumph another day. Yes, be resilient, but change the tone.

If you did your best in trying to ‘win,’ and you ‘come second,’ then hug each other. Be generous with the ‘high fives.’ Congratulate the team on the effort, hard work and positive intent. Talk about what went right. Brainstorm what could have been done better. Buy the prospect who rejected you a fabulous lunch. Thank them. Get as much feedback as possible. Do it with a smile, gratefulness, and optimism in your step.

I just do not understand why the rugby folk did not organise a ticker-tape parade to welcome the Wallabies back to Australia after their World Cup Final loss to the All Blacks in November. The ground staff at Auckland Airport gave the All Blacks the first of thousands of hakas when they landed. But the Wallabies kind of skulked back into town. Why? They were brilliant! They lifted our hearts and ignited a nation. We were so proud of them. I bet 50,000 people would have turned up on George Street and cheered that ‘failure.’ There was no shame in defeat. Just honour and pride.

And that’s my point. Failure sucks. But embrace failure where you did your best with open arms. Lift its arm in triumph. Appreciate the great effort involved. Learn from it. Lift shoulders. Build pride.

It’s a genuine gift, failure. Sure, it sucks. I hate it. But failure when you did your best: now, that’s an opportunity to celebrate. Hug. Learn. Energise. Be grateful. Go again.

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6 Responses to Don’t Fail At Failure In 2016

  1. Michael Hyams March 2, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    Another great piece of wisdom Chris, thanks for this!

    • Chris Savage March 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

      Thanks Michael!!

  2. Roger Marshall March 2, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Very much agree that a fully positive attitude is a huge asset. Just don’t fall into a comfortable groove of failing regularly …

    • Chris Savage March 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

      Well said, Roger.

  3. Henry Downing March 9, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Great insight Chris, in most cases we learn more through failure than through victory. Moreover, the journey to achieving the outcome (positive or not) should always be celebrated.

    • Chris Savage March 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

      Thanks Henry. Xxx

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