In Order To Succeed, First You Must Fail

As a pre-teen I still held onto the childish joy of Christmas. This particular year I only wanted one thing: a pogo stick.

I was thrilled when Christmas morning delivered my wish! I had seen commercials where smiling children hopped around effortlessly and figured it was an easy enterprise. I was in for a sore surprise.

I immediately took it outside and stepped on with visions of hours of happy jumping ahead of me. Anyone who has used a pogo stick knows that is not what happened. Not at first, at least.

After a good 30 minutes of awkward bouncing and jostling falls I left the pogo stick on the porch in a huff. I questioned why I would ever want such a painful thing.

The next day I eyed the pogo stick and cautiously tried it again. Apparently, my body had learned a thing or three about how to successfully navigate this springy wonder and I was able to accomplish a few bounces in a row before falling.

This minor success whet my appetite for more. The thrill of consecutive bounces kept me going until I eventually could hop on and do hundreds of bounces in a row.

In fact, it got so easy it kind of became boring. I would try to intentionally bounce at an angle to see how far I could lean without falling.

I also became unafraid of falling. My muscles had not only learned how to stay on, but also how to fall off without pain.

I had practiced enough that I had no fear of whatever was ahead of me. Because there was nothing to fear (as I had experienced it already), I was able to relax and enjoy the ride.


All things in life are like the pogo stick. At some point they are new and unfamiliar. There is always a first time.

Our bodies and thought processes have to not only learn how to do something, but also how not to do it. That means failure.

Failure is the integral beginning of success.

Missteps give us a boundary to identify the path to success. Without failure we have no guidelines.

Wisdom is birthed through failure.

Those who rise must first fall. Those destined for success learn from each fall and get up to fall again in a different manner. Eventually, there will be so few new ways to fall that success is achieved.

Authentic leaders do not seek failures, but expect them. Have a routine of how you review each fall to identify why the fall occurred and how to prevent it in the future.

Then success can be yours.


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