I Failed, But…

Take a moment to list the variety of things you’ve failed at over the years. I have my list here in front of me. One experience at the top is where I helped start a church. I led the music and we were sure we’d grow to be a big church one day. 300-500 attendees with the ability to afford our own permanent facility would have been nice. In reality the church struggled to attract a hundred attendees on a given Sunday and we were putting in a TON of hard work to make that happen. I left after a few years and not long after that the church closed its doors for good.

From a pure results standpoint we fell far short of our goal. In the years since that experience, I’ve been tempted to refer to it as a failure, but that label doesn’t set well with me. My mind goes to the people I worked with and whom I still call friends today. I think of the valuable lessons and life skills I gained along the way. I’m reminded of the fact that I got to do something I love — sing and play my guitar.

One of my heroes, Seth Godin recently wrote on this theme on his blog and I just had to add my own story. He took the statement, “Nothing matters more than results” and debunked it, sharing all of the other value that can be gained in a venture — like working for a cause you believe in with people you care about.

Failure is a really popular topic these days and I don’t want to beat a dead horse. If you’ve failed, or perhaps simply fallen short of a goal, you’ll most certainly be tempted to go straight to what you did wrong. My simple challenge to you is to instead focus on what you did right, what you gained and learned from the experience, and what you have to be thankful for. Those lessons will likely have a broad application in your life that will serve you well in the future.

It seems like almost everything important matters more than results. ~Seth Godin


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