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Why Failure Is Part of the Process to Fulfill Your Purpose

The author of ‘A Letter to My Younger Self’ discusses using failure to better your game and performance.

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A Growth Mindset Journey

Along the road to fulfilling your purpose and fulfilling goals there will be a bountiful supply of learning what not to do, how to dos and what to do. With learnings comes failure. Yeah, I know that the word failure, whether it’s in the sports world or in one’s career, is one that neither I nor you want to be associated with – but sometimes it has its moments of inspiring positive responses and behavior.

Don’t regard failure with disdain

I think that it would be safe to say that we all have experienced failure and therefore we have a disdain for it being associated with us in any way.  However, I can honestly say that the times failure has visited me, I chose to use it as an opportunity to get better in my athletic and work careers. Even after mulling around in self-pity for a while. The challenge is moving on from one failure with the understanding that another may be right behind it; and still getting up again to face the same opponent that I just lost to, to reach my goal.

Those were the times when my weaknesses were exposed and, instead of just perfecting my strengths, I started to work more on strengthening my weaker areas. I began to improve my skills and therefore I became more of an asset for my team, which in turn also made me stronger mentally.

a book cover titled a letter to my younger self. book, publication, reading, letter, literature
In my book I've gathered letters from ex-student athletes advising their younger selves about making their transition from high school to college and beyond.

In my book, ‘A Letter to My Younger Self’, I speak about a moment in my life that even to this day influences me. I was helping my father repair a doorknob, well let’s say that I was just assisting being that I was only eight at the time. My dad told me to get a tool from the shed and I came back with the wrong one.

As he began to describe his feelings towards my failure to bring back the right tool in what appeared to be a foreign language to me, @*#*^^??&#, I did capture and understand when he said, “You ain’t going to be about sh**!” You know what I mean. From that moment on I focused on proving him wrong and whenever someone would tell me that I could not do something, I was reminded of that moment and the inspiration to prove them wrong was elevated.

Measure success by the effort you put in

In whatever career or occupation that you now find yourself as part of a team, the goal is to be the best by giving your best effort. Our biggest competitor will always be ourselves as we strive to give our all. When I was playing football, I would often ask myself, “If everyone practiced like me today, would we be better?”

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Give it all you’ve got. You can be the difference between team successes and failures.

As that athlete, I would always measure myself by the effort that I put forth mentally and physically to get better at doing things the correct way even when sessions didn’t go as planned.

In my own career, at the end of the day as I look in the mirror brushing my teeth, I often ask myself, “If everyone worked like me today, did we get better?”

Again, it’s all about the effort that you put forth to be your best at doing your job.

There is sport and then there is life, life transcends sport. Then there is the ‘Sports Life’ that reaps moments when you demand your best effort of yourself.

Find your purpose

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Do you allow failures to make you better? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.


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by Frank Reiland 08.05.2018
In 2006 I became a barber and early on in my career I was fired from several barber shops and the day a man who was supposed to be a“mentor” told me j had heart but was not very good behind the chair.

Here I am almost 12 years later and still going because I have something to prove....to myself.
by Murray Frank Reiland 15.05.2018
Frank, you have a purpose! Twelves years later and you are still going is proof that you have proven to yourself that when your ,"mentor" said that you had heart, that really was all the motivation that you needed. In the business of being a Great Barber, you got to have heart to be passionate about your profession because you have to care about making others look their best and like to look their best! Anytime you are passionate about who you are in your career, it's easy to do and especially if someone told that you were not good at it and you continued after a few failures. Working with that stack of chips on your shoulder brother, proving to your mentor and yourself, that you are great at what you do, and even better at who you are. Huge Congratulations!!
by Mario L. 10.05.2018
Amazing note ! Thank you for sharing this. It supports in getting my mindset right and my relationship with failure. This past year has been nothing but short of a learning curve! I can relate so deeply to your words. It's an amazing mindset change to get into: failure as an opportunity for utmost fulfillment vs a defining negative factor. Thank you!
by Robert Murray Mario L. 14.05.2018
Great to read your feedback Mario and hear that you are inspired to get your mindset right. See your opponent as an opportunity to get better!



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