The late great John Wooden is credited as saying, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” I think that failure can be instructive, and that many would agree something in our strategy should be adjusted if we fall short of our goal. During my early years, I perfected the art of failure. And later in life, I’ve gotten better at it.
I failed second grade. This was embarrassing for some time – I was a 19-year-old high school senior. I failed math, one plus one never equaled two for me. I was slower than average intellectually – it was painful to acknowledge.
I failed out of college my freshman year. I received the letter announcing my dismissal during Christmas break. I was ashamed; it was not a good Christmas. I failed at relationships—until I married, I was never in a relationship longer than nine months. My self-diagnosis is attachment disorder.
When I began my career, I blew it on work projects. For a while, I failed in my attitude; I didn’t always know how to handle adversity and setbacks.
Over time, I’ve gotten better at failing because I’ve failed forward, learning to pause and find the lesson in the setback. I believe in forward motion. I still fail often, but I am blessed to have people in my life that help me adjust my course. They help me change my perspective. They challenge me to press into the exhaustion and to leave nothing on the court. Whether we change or not, our time is limited. As the clock runs out, my competitive spirit wants one last chance to leave my most significant mark. I’m coachable Lord, what will you have me do?