Fear of Failure

June 3, 2015

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… we have all heard this phrase, but what does it mean?

To me it speaks to the beauty and lessons learned from failure. Failure can be the greatest of teachers  if you learn from what you did wrong. Think about the times in life that you have tried at something and truly failed. I mean when you fell flat on your face and really blew it. Such lessons often provide the greatest lessons we can ever receive. One of my favorite expressions is ‘stupid is only stupid if it happens to you twice.’ Sounds like something that Forrest Gump would say!

We have a lot of great things going on at Gorrie-Regan, but the best are those of you who are reading this email. We have amazing people. The reason that you are so good is the shared/collective wisdom we have from the lessons that we have learned. This company is over 55 years old and we have learned some great lessons. But we will never stop seeking new ground to explore.  My father always told me “that all education is expensive…and Charlie, I am tired of paying for yours.” He was right.

As mentioned, this company’s greatest value is in the collective lessons that we have learned. In our senior leadership meetings, I constantly applaud the efforts that I am seeing around the company. In my view, we have spent more time in teaching and training over the previous 18 months than any time I can remember. This is wonderful and we will never end this effort. One of the best things that happened is that we now have an open forum where we can share our lessons learned so that the mistakes we make will not be repeated by others. Awesome!

I have a suggestion for all to consider:  At the next meeting you hold as a department or group, take a minute and talk about some of your failures  and the lessons learned from them. They can be personal or professional…it really doesn’t matter as these episodes made you better than you were before the lesson.

I am never afraid to try new things that may see me fail in their pursuit. I will admit, that at 48, the attempts are different than the ones taken  20 years ago – as I am now (hopefully) wiser than I was before. But I am still not afraid of pursuing something that may end in failure. Such is the path in striving for greatness. Take inspiration from Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb on trying 10,000 times before he finally got it right…”I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” These are truly words to live by.

Have a great day. Charlie

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