Failure block-height 848086 15 Jun 2024

It’s Not a Bad Thing

I was was watching my middle son play his baseball game today. What a blessing I get to be present and watch his progress and his failures. He made a mistake (a couple actually) but one glaring one. He was playing short stop and the ball came to him. The opposing guy on second ran past him as he threw the ball to second base, when he could have reached over and tagged the guy out. Instead no outs were made by him or his team that play. Not a big deal when on a parks and rec league. But I could see the disappointment in his face. He failed at something and he knew it. I talked to him afterwards and gave him a couple words of consolation, and then let him know he could do better and that it was alright. We all learn from failure, and often times it’s the only real way to attain growth in something. I believe all to often we are conditioned to think of failure as a bad thing, I mean think of what public schooling does, or what most employers are like. You fail at school and you get a mark, and it can be frowned upon and your parents are disappointed (at least mine always were). At many employers it can mean the missing of a promotion or being let go if the failure is big enough. Truth be told school grades don’t mean much in the long run and if an employer lets you go, it’s for the best. But in the moment we feel the pain of failing. And that’s where we grow.


The pain is often times the source of wanting something better or different, for me it often is. I don’t like to wallow in mistakes or failure but when my mind comes up against it I seek to grow beyond. Watching my son, when we practice I’ll be intent to see what he wants to work on and how he progresses and as a father offer words of encouragement. Often times that one mistake can lead to huge improvements and change in a positive direction if taken correctly. To quote Thomas Edison and his process for inventing the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Perseverance and tenacity are qualities that are often lacking in this fiat world. It’s often easier to ignore the failure and hope it goes away, but that’s not where success lies. Success lies in finding out what doesn’t work to eventually find out what does.

Final Thoughts

Many people look at someone who has what we call “success”, and say “that must be nice”. What they don’t see is all the times that person with success has failed.