Anyone that you admire or that is successful has had his or her journey. We focus so much on each other’s accomplishments, title or status when instead we should be looking at what it took them to get there. I am more interested in their story not the success. I like to hear how many times they wanted to give up or the opportunities they took or the fear they had to overcome. Every success is built on mistakes and failures. Mistakes are awesome, they teach us not only that we shouldn’t do that again – they challenge us to figure it out. Mistakes are opportunities, they often teach us to be creative or lead us to exactly where we need to be. It’s the lessons within the journey that teaches us to be brave, creative or persistent.
What is more valuable then the end result or destination is the character or journey of that individual.
It’s hard to teach this concept to children, as they don’t like to fail or make mistakes. We make it worse when we as adults or society focus on getting into the right university or require perfect grades. I wonder what message we are sending to our kids when the focus is so results oriented. I have two children. They may both get the same grade but it comes easy to one of my children and harder for the other. I am proud of both of them but my heart is so proud when you see the work, sweat and tears it took for my one child to get that grade. The effort it took to get that grade may in fact be more valuable than the grade itself.
I have to remind myself that my kids (and us adults) are allowed and suppose to make mistakes. I like to think of a mistake as a mis-take that you get to do over. You take another shot at it. We have a saying in my house when one of us blows it, which is, “Let’s hit the reset button”. Mistakes are only failures if we don’t learn from them. They are how we get better, they are part of the journey – they are part of the success.
See my article on Famous People Who Never Gave Up.