If Michael Jordan is ok with failing, isn’t it ok for you?

carnegie playground basketball from the library of congressInteresting how those who succeed the most also happen to have failed the most.

Most sports superstars have failed at something many, many times. The best batters in baseball only have a 40% success rate. Do you let one failure trip you up, sidetrack an entire day or prevent you from trying something else?

Iâ??ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. Iâ??ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, Iâ??ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. Iâ??ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

This past weekend, I took the troop up near the Canadian border for a weekend of cross-country skiing. Several of the boys had never been on skis before. One of the guys is not very athletic and he struggled all day Saturday. I would not let him quit, even though doing so is what he is often allowed to do.

Late in the afternoon when he was getting tired, he fell down for what was probably the 30th time or so and he looked up at me, clearly disgusted with his success. He was waiting for me to give him an excuse to quit.

I told him to get up and tossed a cliche at him that he clearly hadn’t heard: “It isn’t how many times you fall down, it’s how many times you get up.”

He said “Yeah!” and crawled to his feet one more time.

Before we made it back to camp, he fell several more times, but on the last 150-200 yards, something clicked and he got his glide going. Suddenly a kid who couldn’t wait to get back to camp and get off those skis spent the next few hours paddling around on them, and did so again the next day.

It was good enough for Michael Jordan, and it was good enough for this boy too. As you might imagine, it’s good enough for you and your business as well. In fact, fail faster and you’ll succeed faster.

8 thoughts on “If Michael Jordan is ok with failing, isn’t it ok for you?”

  1. GREAT story..!!!

    One of my favourite expressions comes from Cassius Clay, before he became Muhammad Ali:

    “Failure is not the falling down but the staying down”

    Cheers,

    Martin.

  2. I enjoyed that story but not your captcha script.

    I guess getting a comment posted is the same as “It isnâ??t how many times you fall down, itâ??s how many times you get up.”

    I lost my previous quote.

    Kenneth

  3. Kenneth,

    Ive turned it off. Youre the 2nd person to note a problem with it, so it’s obviously not doing the job. Thanks for mentioning it.

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