Failure on the Fourth of July
The Fourth of July … we celebrate it! But do we truly understand the risk/failure proportions that might have been?
All those years ago, the founding fathers underwent a massive experiment. That experiment has come to be known as the United States of America and more specifically the structure of government we know today as our republic. So, let’s shrink ourselves down, hop on a fly and morph to 1776 observing our founders. One would most certainly find an excitement in the air at all the opportunities that loomed as possible realities. However, the risks were great, and the stakes were high! The gamble was not solely with the lives of those making decisions, but rather, would impact a great number of people perpetually into the future. Not to mention, the entire world was watching to see if this experiment would stand up to time.
It could have been one giant mistake!
Yes, the stakes were as high as they could get, which makes the risk of failure/mistakes that much more daunting. Conversely, it also makes the risk of opportunity that much more alluring.
Our democracy being one big mistake, was a very real possibility. Some historians might say failure was more probable than success, but succeed we did! Let’s look at the reasons this potential failure turned to kinetic opportunity. This may surprise you, but I was not in, “the room where it happened”, so I can only comment with limited certainty on the facts and inspirations of 1776. Nevertheless, I will interject myself. To certain people, failure and mistakes are not seen as a negative element in their lives. But, wait! We are so indoctrinated with, don’t fail, don’t fail, don’t fail, that we forget, if we, “don’t fail”, opportunities don’t happen. The founding fathers knew this and felt it so innately in every fiber of who they were that the potential for mistakes was outweighed by the aspiration of opportunity they were clawing towards.
Imagine having that sense in your employees, leaders and life. It really instills a drive in people the catapults them into a different league. In furtherance of changing our vocabulary, I propose to you the elimination of the word mistake and replacing it with opportunity. Because in any mistake or failure, and even our successes, there is the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve greatness. What do you say? This Independence Day, why not go out there and make some opportunities? If you view it this way, there is no way you can fail; especially if you surround yourself with people you trust.
You see, the failure on the Fourth of July would have been not taking the risk.
Look in the future for the post about trust. A post to accompany this one is, “Fear’s real name!”.
This is just one of the techniques to apply to your life. Marrying this with the other elements, gives greater success.
A fun side note: I was in a workshop with Charna Halpern about a year ago, and I was telling her about this philosophy, and she said, “I like that, I am going to steal that”, I take that as a huge compliment, steal away Charna.