We Must Fail


One of the themes within my own personal growth plan this year is the idea of “Failing Forward.” It has been of such great importance to me, that after reaching out to one of the charter schools in my local area I was able to set up a meeting with a principal that will be opening a brand new high school later this summer. After our meeting we agreed to start the school year off with a sort of town hall meeting on the subject, with parents and students, and we even discussed the possibility of making such a theme the school’s motto for the year.

My reasoning for making this a focus for my growth plan this year hit home for me when I started to analyze the lives of those people whom I consider to be successful. Page after page, as I dug deep into biographies, memoirs and other stories, I discovered this recurring theme of multiple failures, with little success, yet those successes were generally impressive. They were above and beyond the status quo. They tended to destroy barriers.

I then came across John Maxwell’s book Failing Forward and it was a surreal moment for me. He had written on the subject over 10-years ago and I was just now beginning to think about it. My chosen theme was not so novel. I thought I had this great idea, and then I realized that I was many years behind. After a brief moment of self-pity I got back on my feet. I failed forward. After all, I had never considered myself great with creating things, but I could finish a task with the best of them. Perhaps you are like me, or the complete opposite, it does not matter because we all will fail at one time or another whether we are creators, doers, or a mix of both. Don’t let someone fool you into thinking that they never fail.

Being a realist has been a constant for me, and it has always helped me get up after a fall. I realized early on that it really is not about how many times you fall down, but rather the number of times you get back up. And I have more times than I care to remember. The key here is to not focus on the failure. Think about it. You just simply fix or fine-tune the issues and then move forward. Put a little pep in your step. Lean forward. If you can accept the fact that you will fail, then failing forward will not be that difficult because you will know and believe that your next success is a mere few steps away.

The next time you see a colleague, friend or family member who is frustrated about failing, give them a few seconds of your time, and help him or her fail forward.

Have a blessed day! And as always, thank you for taking a moment of your time to share in a moment of personal growth with me today.

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