Last week I wrote about lessons from a goalie parent, but it was missed a few, and well this one was in draft for 2 years (writing another one about my draft problem) and figured hey this is a good time to finish this. When my daughter was first playing hockey competitively there was a notion you most wins or play on a winning team or in some cases play on the highest level of hockey in your age group. I will go into parents ruining youth sports another time, but inside the tornado of youth sports it is a bit crazy. The truth is at the youngest age you want to be on a team that wins equally as many as it loses (whatever level you are in.). The reason, if you are winning all the time, you are not being challenged, if you are losing all the time, you might get completely discouraged. 

Some of the greatest athletes of all time talk about their failures. Michael Jordan once said “I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” What do people remember? Most of us remember the shot of MJ hitting the shot with no time left on the clock. Not only did he fail many time at it, but I am sure (like thousands of other kids) played in their driveway/school yard etc. pretending to make that last shot. I know I did, and I missed the shot a lot, but the one time I hit it I celebrated like I won the NBA Championship. What I didn’t realize I was learning from the missed shots and worked on getting better. 

Bruce Lee (yeah quoting him again) said “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” I wish many times I followed this in my personal life. Simple in words and great in thought, like many other quote from Bruce (Note the 20th of July was the 50th anniversary of his death) show a simple philosophy that many struggle due to inertia to break thru. And the fear of failure and the reaction of others around us to that failure adds to the forces against taking risks. There are few who can escape the stigma, may fail more than the rest of us, but their successes may far outweigh someone who takes not chances. 

I once complained that in school that you could get an A for a failed experiment, as you proved something could not be done the way you thought. I was wrong, in life and in many work situations the notion of moving out of your comfort zone should be celebrated. In real life, whether it is work or your personal life there is a need to ignore the stigma of failing, look forward to the possibility of learning something even in failure. Those standing in the same spot may laugh at your attempts, but they will be in the same spot when you succeed and go past them.  

Now remember what I said about hockey, you need to have equal wins and losses. You can’t lose all the time in life and work. So, moving out of your comfort zone all the time is as bad as not moving out at all. Picking the time to take risks comes with experience and wisdom. Back to hockey, the goalie with the greatest number of wins in hockey also has the greatest number of losses. He had to go out and play with the risk of losing each time, but obviously 691 wins and victories were definitely lessons learned from those losses. In sports sometimes you can’t pick the risk you take, in life you can. Stick your neck out at work, take the new role that is out of your comfort zone, change careers, ask that person out you never met, say yes to something you would normally say no to… but do it with the experience gained from your earlier failures.  And don’t be so lazy, you might fail, but you might succeed.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.   AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.