Unless you’ve been “BROKEN,” you can’t do your job correctly. What? Eh? What the heck does this mean? This was a recent statement that I heard at a conference, and one which I strongly disagree.
We’re not talking about dogs or horses here…we’re talking about people. Granted, there are some real “horses-ass,” that might give reason for pause, but here…we’re addressing real…“normal people.” I’ve NEVER been an advocate that one must make a bunch of mistakes in order to learn from them…such that he would, then, be a much more accomplished person in the long run. Rubbish!
I’m not suggesting that I am “mistake-free;” but, I don’t need to get burned on a hot pipe to know not to touch hot pipes. If I were a nuclear scientist, I don’t believe making a few horrific mistakes would make me a better scientist. I absolutely agree that one can “learn” from their mistakes; as I’m sure they would… rather I’m saying…why make them to start with.
As an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” I can understand this line of wisdom… One might suggest that he was “practicing” 999 times. That’s why athletes practice… practice… and practice. They’re not failing…they’re practicing so as to improve on their success.
There’s also such a thing as learning how to do “it” correctly the first time, and capitalizing on one’s success, rather than… trying to improve because of multiple failure(s). Call me corny….I’ve heard all the clichés about learning from mistakes; but I rather build on my successes, than build on my failures.
Here’s another angle to consider…would one consider Michael Jordan to be a failure because he missed the “winning shot” on 26 occasions during his career. Jordan played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. His biography on the NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Hardly a failure…by any measure.
In my own regard. I made 640 on the SAT, and was considered a “statistical failure” before I even entered college…meaning, statistically…I was “not smart enough” to graduate. I graduated 12 years later in 1971, with two degrees… averaging a “C.” In fact, I made one A (on a class I exempted), and one D on a course in statistics (sure), and the rest C’s. Is that failing? That was inn 1971, (45 years ago)… I was making $35K a year, had a company car, was the VP & Corporate Controller of a $30 million company, with 3 children and no debt, and worked 60 hours a week…and was “darn lucky,” to make a “C.” Was I a failure? According to the school records… I failed 2nd grade. By the time I finished high school, I had attended over 20 schools. My Dear Mother said… “You didn’t fail… I held you back.”
Proverbs 3:1-4 – My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Some 25 years ago…I ran for “public office,” four times…losing all four. Was I a failure? Was I a loser? In my mind…I simply didn’t win. I know one guy, who makes $200K per year, owes $2 million, and doesn’t have $1000.00 in his checking account. I know another guy who makes less than $40K, lives in a $600K house, and has “no-debt,” and has $50K in cash in the bank. Which one is the FAILURE?
Failure is not in my vocabulary… and I suggest… if one “thinks themselves to be a FAILURE, then likely… they are.” If one views themselves as a “success”…then by darn…they are! Don’t listen to the jealous “naysayer’s.“