I was hesitant on writing this because I’m going to reveal something to you that the majority of men would never admit to anyone, including themselves.
Failure is a prerequisite to success. Contrary to popular belief you can see failure sprinkled all throughout hard work. There are times in life where you work your tail off and you still fail.
I’ve failed at numerous things, being a good husband, father, leader, just to name a few.
Not to pat myself on the back or anything but in contrast to my many failures I’m actually good at a lot of things. Things throughout my short life have typically come fairly easy to me.
I often get commended on how much I’m involved in and how “talented” I am.
You see the truth is though, there are two sides to everything. The fact that a lot of things come natural to me has also been a major hindrance…
It’s hindered me from not only achieving greatness but it’s actually hindered me at times from simply desiring greatness.
My father, as I’ve mentioned in numerous posts, is my hero. He encompasses manhood to me because he has always showed me what it is like to fail first and then succeed.
As a society we want to wrap everything in a bow. College students expect the same lifestyle their parents gave them so they go into debt upon graduation via credit cards to maintain that lifestyle. Hard work isn’t commended, success is.
We look at other people and their success without acknowledging the incredible trials they endured in attaining that goal.
I played golf at Olivet Nazarene University from 2003 to 2007. The word ‘good’ would sum up my career pretty accurately. After I graduated and I moved to the Indianapolis area I would go to the local golf course here in Plainfield after work and practice. I was playing in some amatuer tournaments on the weekends as well.
I went through a stretch where I was on fire. I was consistently shooting in the high 60’s and low 70’s. I remember having this grand scheme that I was going to really buckle down and make a run at the Nationwide Tour with hopes of eventually securing my PGA Tour card.
I remember calling my dad, my hero mind you, to tell him of this revelation.
His response was simple and pointed…”It’s too late. You’ll never make it.”
I will never forget the tone, the delivery, nor the truth in that statement.
I’ve told a lot of people this story before and the majority of them respond to me, “how dare he say that to his son!” He should be telling you, “you can do anything you put your mind to.”
That’s what we tell our youth today right? It’s literally the biggest fallacy we continue to regurgitate to these kids. These kids can’t become anything they want.
We were knit together inside our mother’s womb with certain passions and abilities. We have to figure out what those are and we need to work as hard and fail as often as we can at them before they blossom into what they’re supposed to be.
Since I was little I had aspirations to play in the NBA. The fact of life is that I’m 6’1 and would never be mistaken for “fast.” So the reality that I could have worked hard enough to make it as a player is laughable now. I do have the small chance however to still make it as a referee.
My dad did me a favor that day. The part I left out until now is when he told me if I had this revelation years ago he would have done anything in his power to help me pursue that dream.
The ten rounds or so I shot at par or below to me was an opening of a professional golf career. I negated in my mind all the times growing up I could have been giving myself callouses by pounding golf balls on the driving range, when instead I was doing other things.
Society’s mindset that our happiness is paramount to literally everything else is not only the reason for our unhappiness, but it has literally ushered in the carnage you see unfolding all around us now.
Failure isn’t discussed, hard work isn’t discussed. These things are synonymous.
I’ll leave you with this…
My dad is a successful financial advisor and is the founder of Koch Financial Design. I’m currently in the process of completing my studies for licensing to join him as a partner. Lord willing, he has many years left running this business so I will slowly get my feet wet over time.
I recently took a test for one of the licenses I need and failed. I was absolutely inconsolable on the way home. I texted him, “I don’t even understand why you would want me as a partner?”
I obviously struggled with even telling this story because I never want to create doubt to readers, who possibly could do business with us down the line, to “know” that I failed the licensing exam.
Statistics show though a great deal of current advisors failed the test once or twice before passing. Another stat that really stood out to me was an overwhelming majority of extremely successful advisors today barely squeaked by. Meaning a large portion of the people who scored very high eventually washed out of the business completely.
We can argue why that is and to be honest when it comes to my pride that stat really didn’t matter to me.
We just have to grasp that failure is an imperative ingredient to success. It’s completely foreign to the narrative that society continues to push forward.
So please, having just gone through it, thank God for your failures. I never want to be cliche on here…but each failure really does push you towards success.
The key for all of us, is figuring out what “success” looks like in each of our lives.
In His Grip,