Learning to Embrace Failure

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Life Leave a Comment

I sit here writing this blog listening to Frank Sinatra’s song, “That’s life.”

“That’s life. That’s what all the people say. You’re riding high in April, shot down in May, I know I’m going to change that tune, when I am back on top in June.”

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the quality of ‘resilience.’ Thinking about how important that is in a person’s life. I will never forget the moment when I was listening to a Canadian Army Special Forces commander making a presentation at a hockey coaches’ conference, saying that:

“While Good players seek perfection, Great players seek Failure.”

While I was a bit confused by the line at first, I realized the power of this insight when thinking about some of the great stories of failures and success by so many people in life. I read a lot about Abraham Lincoln over the past couple of years, and I marvel at the power of the man whose greatness transcends some 150 years later after his passing. His journey, that of public and personal failures and hardships, were  the foundation that gave him the necessary resilience to forge ahead in such dire circumstances – losses on the battlefield, the death of a beloved child – to give the country a New Birth of Freedom.

Isn’t that what everyone needs at some time in their lives, a new birth of freedom?

You see, we all learn more from our failures more than we do from our successes. It now seems that in moving safely within the parameters of a comfortable existence, we may be doing ourselves a disservice in the longer run when we face those inevitable challenges and hurdles in our lives.

And after overcoming obstacles, moments present themselves in our lives – some opportunity – when we have the choice to seize it…or to ‘play it safe.’

I hear this on the phone all the time when I talk to customers interested in our trucking software or in our freight brokerage software. Behind those phone calls, I hear their stories of some new opportunity, some new beginning. And other times, I hear about the stories of failure, about some operation that failed years ago, and then he or she has recovered and returned to take another shot at the business.

Beyond my responsibility for ‘making the sale,’ I get invigorated by these stories, these new beginnings. And I am happy that I have an application to sell, and work with a group of people that give people the ‘second chances’ they need, and everyone needs in their business lives.

I’d like to think that these people take our trucking software, or our freight brokerage software, and go on to build some great business for their staff, for their families and most importantly, for themselves. I hope that after they finish off their working lives, they look back and sing the song that is now playing on my headphones…Frank Sinatra’s signature song.

“I Did it My Way.”

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