We’ve all heard that phrase before. “Failure is not an option.” It’s usually stated when victory is simply the only solution to solve a problem. I heard it at basketball practices at hight school – as if the game about to be played was more than just a game. We hear it when we read the histories of war heroes and generals giving their speeches to the young soldiers far from home, simply hoping they can soon embrace the ones they left behind.
I say it to my fiancé in a different way. We’ve agreed that the big “D” word is not allowed to be said in our future married household. DIVORCE is not an option for us. No matter how bad things may get, or how frustrated we may become… we will not even consider the possibility of divorce being a viable option. It’s simply something that won’t be thought of as a potential avenue of solution. Which means we will be forced to come face to face and solve the problem in another way. A way that ends with us getting closer together and entering a completely different journey in our lives… TOGETHER.
It’s interesting to think about that phrase though, because failure happens. It is one of the few things in life that is guaranteed. I will let my wife down at times in our future. I will need to be somewhere and I’ll show up late, or she’ll desperately want me to listen to her and I will be distracted by something far more trivial and less important. I will fail her. I will – and do quiet often – fail myself. But what is failure if not an opportunity to start agin?
If I fail, I simply have to keep going, get back up, start over, pick up where I left off, don’t I? Whoever first said, “Failure is not an option” hopefully realized that success in the endeavor was only possible because of lessons previously learned in failure.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to succeed in everything and be excellent and perfect in all your attempts. I’m simply saying that you will NOT be perfect and excellent in ALL your attempts. You will fail.
Will you fail because you choose to? Or will you fail because it’s simply part of the process of success. Just because “failure is not an option” doesn’t mean that it’s not going to happen. It simply means that you will not choose to fail.
I will fail my wife. I will never choose to fail her.
I will fail at programs or process in my job. I will never choose to fail at them.
I will forget things and let people down. I don’t want to choose to fail them.
Don’t fail yourself. Don’t choose to fail others.
Make failure one of those things that only happens because it’s bound to, not because of something you did — or didn’t — do.