Fail Like You Mean It !

All great effort involves striving — and sometimes falling short.

A few luminaries share their thoughts on this topic:

  • Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway PT and many other innovations) discusses how creative people fail frequently, rarely work linearly and never give up:
  • A Honda Motors video shares some of their insights regarding success (and failure) re: their racing cars:
  • A video profiles famous failures:
  • A book author reminds us that even successful celebrities had to endure some rain before they saw their rainbows:
  • Thomas Alva Edison famously said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” and “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
    – Edison is considered the most famous American inventor, and has, singly or jointly, held a world record 1,093 patents.  In addition, he created the world’s first industrial research laboratory.
  • “You can’t let your failures define you. You must let your failures teach you. … The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, tried harder, who loved their country … too much to do anything less than their best. … So, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems will you solve? What will others say about you years from now?”
    – Excerpt from President Barack Obama’s address to America’s students
  • “You’ve lost your job but you have not lost your skills, talents, or expertise. Skills, talents, and expertise are transferable. … Knowledge is portable. … What you do does not define who you are. You have to separate your net worth from your self-worth. Your net worth is going to fluctuate… but your self-worth should only appreciate.”
    – Chris Gardner, former homeless person, now a millionaire, profiled in the book/movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and this Black Enterprise article.
  • “One of the things that I think is most valuable about sports is that you can play a great game and still not win.”
    – President Barack Obama, comments after losing bid to host the summer Olympics for 2016 in Chicago.  Not since 1976 had a US candidate been eliminated so early in the voting process.  — October 2009
  • “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again (because there is no effort without error or shortcoming), but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
    Excerpt from the “Citizenship in a Republic” speech which Theodore Roosevelt gave at the Sorbonne in Paris, April 23, 1910.
  • “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

3 Responses to “Fail Like You Mean It !”

  1. Hi Tony: Glad to know that you have a blog. I hope to learn more about it in the coming months. I just subscribed and will await interesting blog posts like this one. What is your main message about failure? Will you post a future blog about how common failure is …and how it builds character? Hope you’ll tell us more!
    Thanks for sharing your insights. Hope Bethel becomes a blogging church!
    -Carole Copeland Thomas

  2. Hi Tony – great post!

  3. tparham says:

    Carole, Thanks for sharing. I will let the readers discern the message(s) that speak to them. And in regards to future postings: Time will tell…