Failures can be Good

“Speak only of your successes; there are enough people around to remind you of your failures.”
I was given these words of advice when I worked in door-to-door sales in the ‘70s with World Book Encyclopedia. After having won national honors for sales the month before, I had just finished a pitiful week with very few sales. My branch manager, Ed Benzing, overheard me bemoaning my lack of performance. It was at this time that Ed gave me these magical words of advice that I have never forgotten.
I was reminded of these words of wisdom one day as I listened to a “wanna-be British golf pro.” When my son, Kyle, was in middle school, he learned that if he were to get as good as Tiger Woods, he would have to practice—a lot. So using a golf net in the front yard, he hit many balls every day.  He was hard at his practice one day when I was washing the windows on the outside of the house. I couldn’t help but overhear the running commentary that Kyle had going on with himself.  In true British brogue, Kyle reported the game.
“Kyle Watters is now stepping on the green. He has had an amazing rise to fame.”
“Yes, Clyde, he is truly the favored to win here today at the British Open.”
“Even Tiger has moved down in the rankings and given a wide margin to Watters.”
Then in an even softer and quieter voice: “Watters is stepping up to the ball. He has an outstanding form to his swing.”
In barely a whisper, meant only for the TV audience… “Yes, it would be impossible to imitate that signature swing of his. Many great golfers have tried, but all have failed.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just focus on our successes and not relive our failures? Maybe. Nevertheless, I have found over the years that it is my failures that have made me who I am today. It wasn’t that I failed or even why I failed, but what I learned from that failure that has allowed me to enjoy the successes in later years.

Categories Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on March 11, 2012

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  1. by Matilda Butler

    On March 11, 2012


    Great blog post. For several years, my youngest son taught at a private high school. One year, he was asked to give the faculty address to the graduating class. I’m sure that to the surprise of the parents, he wished failure for the students. He said that from failure, they would learn. From what they learned, they would be able to go forward in success.

    So, I agree. We can’t let failures get us down. We just need them so we can learn.

  2. by David Bowles

    On March 11, 2012

    Good blog Judy. Glade to see you blogging again.

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