This week, in thousands of locations throughout the USA, we will celebrate freedom. At these celebrations, we typically focus on political freedoms: freedom of speech and religion, freedom of the press, and so on. But, today I want to talk about the freedom to fail. What? Who would ever want to celebrate the freedom to fail? You and I should–because without the freedom to fail, we do not have the freedom to achieve real success.
Take away a child’s ability to fall down and she will never learn to walk. Shield a teenager from consequences and he will never learn to take responsibility. Remove the risk of striking out in baseball, and that athlete will never hit a home run. Eliminate the risk of business failure or lay-offs, and you have removed the opportunity to excel.
It’s normal to want to avoid failure. But, the fear of failure is the number one cause of procrastination and inaction, both of which rob us of opportunity. Action, even action that results in failure, takes us that much closer to success. But, paralyzed inaction takes us nowhere.
Michael Jordan said it this way:
“I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot . . . and missed! I have failed over and over and over again in my life — and that is precisely why I succeed.”
Success and failure are two sides of a coin; you must have one to possess the other. It is the failures that make the successes possible.
Success Tip: Next time you stumble and fall along the journey of life, congratulate yourself because you just moved a little closer to your future success. The only time you make no progress is when you do nothing. Make sure that you risk enough to succeed because the old saying is true: The road to success is paved with failure.