Why Strike-outs Lead to Grand Slams (and Failures Lead to Success)

Winston Churchill Quote on Failure

This summer, for the first time since having kids (12 years ago), we are staying in DC. We are letting our 12 year old son play All-Stars baseball because this is his last year of eligibility for Little League (no 13 year olds allowed) and how fun would it be it they made it to the Little League World Series!

Oakley’s had some great games and some rough games. That’s the way it goes with sports, but of course it’s the same with life. While coaching Oakley on how to get over a hitting drought, it was almost comical (like when you hit the palm of your hand on your forehead) when I realized that what I was saying to him, was actually what I needed to hear myself.

Having dedicated the last 5 years to building Lillybee only to sell it at a discount and a loss feels like failure. These last few weeks I’ve reflected back on the experience to find the silver linings. Oh they are there, as they always are, but I can’t say that I would have started Lillybee and sacrificed the time, tears, and talent if I knew that this is how it would end. I don’t get that choice, but I take comfort in knowing for certain that failures are wonderful life lessons.

Failing teaches us to believe. If everything were given, there’d be no need to believe because intentions would always become outcomes. But we know that’s not how life works. We don’t always hit homeruns and every business we start (except you Elon Musk) won’t be a money maker.

This is how we were designed. We weren’t able to walk when we were born. We know the analogy. We had to learn. And stumble. And fall. But we were designed to fall so we learn how to pick ourselves up. And this is for us alone to learn. Parents help infants, but ultimately the literal becomes the figurative and it’s our own will and determination that effect the outcome.

And when we fall again, which will happen, we need to recall the victories to pull us through the defeats. We need to remember the highs and homeruns when enduring the lows and consecutive strike-outs, so we can pull on those feelings and tap into the vibrating desire to get back there – to the what it felt like when we were hitting well, doing well, and feeling well.

That’s what I told Oakley, and yes myself. When down, don’t be defeated. Think of favorable memories and hearts-desires to foster feelings that like a magnet, pull us back towards that positive place. Failures are wonderful lessons. But the lesson is not that we suck. Or aren’t good enough. Smart enough. Talented enough. Or strong enough. Failures exist to teach us resilience – failures teach us how to rely on and believe in ourself.

Since failing teaches us to believe in ourselves, and since believing in ourselves is the fundamental foundation to success, then the logical, unequivocal conclusion is that failing leads to success. (Booya! Microphone drop!)

So thank you failure. We stumble, but with reflection and resilience, we find our footing, stand upright and strong, more prepared and determined to knock it out of the park.

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