Some people fear failure and avoid it at all costs. Still others are lukewarm about it. They realize it sucks. However, they concede that it can be overcome and that lessons can be learned from it. I fall in this category.

I have found that some very smart people have a different view on failure. They welcome it.

Our greatest glory is not never falling, but in rising everytime we fall.

If you're lucky, you'll have a lot of adversity and fuck-ups along the way. They will provide the learning experience you need to get ahead.
-Dave Tate

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
-John Dewey

And, finally, here's my favorite. This is the quote that inspired this article:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Rosevelt

It seems fearing or avoid failure is a mistake. It seems we should seek failure, and we should learn from it. Then we should go out there and "fuck up" again, in the words of powerlifting legend Dave Tate.

I think failure is particularly relevant to the sport of triathlon. Triathletes set lofty goals for themselves. Racing 140.6 miles of swimming, biking, and running is a hell of a risk. There's a good possibility we won't make it. I know people who've ended up in hospitals with IV's despite having a great training buildup to a race. In short, there's a lot that can go wrong in the training and the racing.

However, there are very few people today who sit down, set a goal, then put in the gut wrenching work to achieve it. Even fewer who make they're goal public in such a way that they risk making their failures public. We triathletes do this. All of us fail, all of us achieve, and all of us are better for having risked.


Post a Comment