Winners Aren’t Afraid to Lose
“People who avoid failure also avoid success.”
It took me a long time, but I have come to accept the fact that no matter how much I want it, no matter how hard I work towards it, not everyone who walks in our Dojo doors will one day be a Black Belt. No matter how fervently I try to pass on my own passion for the martial arts, not everyone will share it and live it. No matter how important it is to me, not everyone will develop the skills and the will to prevail over any threat they might encounter. I’ll keep trying, but I’ve come to accept that the world won’t necessarily bend to my will.
But if you asked me if there was one single thing that I would like everyone who walks through our doors to possess when they walk back out, it’s a willingness to fail. That, to me, is the single biggest lesson we can pass on to our children. For a child, the fear of failing means missing out at any number of chances to explore and grow. Kids that learn to pick themselves up and dust themselves off, meanwhile, become far more adept at recognizing and availing themselves of opportunity.
But this form of spiritual paralysis isn’t limited to kids. Some people make it well into adulthood without taking the chances necessary to reaching their full potential. Other grown-ups, having become successful in their communities and chosen fields, lose their willingness to step outside the sphere of comfort they’ve worked so hard to create.
So I’ll be willing to fail, but I’ll try as hard as I can not to—especially when it comes to passing on the lesson that failure isn’t final, just an important bit of pavement on the road to success.