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Success Thought of the Day – 5/19/21

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius

I will be the first to say that I am NOT in love with the act of failure.  However, over the years, I have tried to make failure my friend.  

Like many of you, I have tried to adopt created phrases such as “fail fast” or “fail forward,” but let’s be honest, say what you want; failure does not feel good.

Why exactly is that?  Is it the failure in and of itself, or is it more about the societal shame that comes with it?

When I was growing up in HR Service Delivery at JPMorgan Chase, John Farrell (God rest his soul) was the Head of Human Resources.   In my observation, he was a guy who did not like long meetings, liked to learn, and loved to laugh.  I learned a bit from John during my tenure, and more specifically to this topic, he put failure into context for me one day.

One day as we ended a meeting, he laughed and said, “in the major leagues of baseball, a .400 batting average (hitting the ball 4 out of 10 times), it is considered amazing.  However, here [at JPMC], if you miss once we yell ‘you suck’”

It was funny, but it stuck with me.  If we can acknowledge that imperfection (or failure) is a part of the “game” or any sport, we need to give ourselves the same grace.  We need to acknowledge ourselves as ‘amazing’ for going back up to bat!

Stay focused on rising repeatedly and putting failure in its proper context; it is just a part of the game.

Commentary available on the new podcast at: http://bit.ly/successtotdjr

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