This probably does not come as a surprise to many of our members and loyal readers, but we encourage short term failures and a lot of it! Don’t get me wrong, we like for all our athletes to be successful. However, we know that only a small few will reach their goals and dreams without having failed repeatedly. As the story goes, Thomas Edison needed more than 1,000 failures to create the sustainable light bulb. I guess his dream or purpose of lighting up the dark sky was more important than giving up after a few attempts. Whatever it is you are attempting to do with golf, school, or life, it will take many attempts to get right. The key is to keep trying and not stop no matter how much pain it may cause in the short term. If your long-term goals or dreams are in line with your purpose, the only way you will not succeed is if you give up!
Here is an interesting perspective from a university president about what their school looks for in an applicant and why failure is so important. “We don’t care that your kid is great at math, plays great violin or has flown across the world to a poverty-stricken country and has twenty different extracurricular activities during the week. It doesn’t help! Everyone applying does this! Give me a kid that has a passion for learning, someone who has demonstrated some measure of autonomy and self- motivation, he or she knows what is on their mind. Unfortunately, this is harder to come by in our society today, a world of handholding, tutored from birth, making it impossible for a child to fail or at least know that he or she failed at something”.
The take home from this university president emphasizes the importance of not hand holding, but instead cultivating an environment that creates autonomy and motivation to explore and go deeper into learning about things that excite you. You want to stretch to a fail point and move ahead. When the environment is hand holding there is limited learning. Kids may be good at taking a test but learning or having the knowledge to apply may come up short. Anytime you can have experiences that challenge your knowledge or skills is a great learning opportunity. You can learn how not to do something, or learn how much more you need to work on something. You may also discover that your skill/s are better than you thought. The point is when you are in the right environment you know it will be safe and the risk of failure is limited but real. The disappointment in losing a tournament, having a bad finish, or not doing as well as you would like on a test is real, but you will emerge stronger from it. When your environment is limited to short term successes, it tends to distort the value of hard work. This type of environment is typically not one that will lead to long term passion or success. Without failure to learn from, many people lose perspective of where they are in development. For kids, this can set up a disappointing future and can result in not living with passion.
If you want to be successful, don’t be afraid of short term failures. If your purpose for doing something is in line with your goals and dreams, your success will come in a matter of time!
Enjoy Your Journey!