Trying your best

I remember in high school my football coach said, all I can expect of you, is to do your best. He said when you get back on the team bus after the game, the only thing that will matter is if you left it all on the field. Meaning, you played as hard as you could.

In life there are successes and failures and I have experienced both. The failures are the ones you end up thinking about the most. It is common to ask yourself after a failure if I had done this or that, would it have changed the outcome? I believe if you can look back on a failure and know in your heart that you tried as hard as you could and did your best, knowing that, will help you work through the failure as compared to the temptation to let the failure define your future. Sometimes, failing can actually be a gift.

Abraham Lincoln lost nine, yes nine, very public elections before deciding to run for President. The question all historians have asked is, if he had won one of the other elections, would he have still run for President? The common theory is that if he had won the senate seat, he would have been content and would not have ran for President. Think about the course of American history if he had never run for President.

As I look back on my own life, my worst financial failure was the restaurant business when I was in my middle 20’s. As I look back at that time, it was that failure that caused me to look in a different direction where I ended up selling hotels instead. While no one can say with certainty what Lincoln would or would not have done, I can say for certainty, if I had experienced success in the restaurant business, I would still be in that business today working 100 hours a week.

Many of the inventions we enjoy today were the by-product of a failure. A few examples of failures that led to great inventions are, the pacemaker, microwave oven, Penicillin, Ink jet printers, x-ray images, post-it notes, potato chips, chocolate-chip cookies and Coca-Cola. So, if you have had a failure in your life that you can’t quite get over, step back and really look at your life in the context of where you are and maybe you will see God’s hand at work trying to get you to a different destination than where you thought you were going.

Mark Twain once said, “the next time you fail, think again about what you could possibly invent from the failure.” KT

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