4 Lessons From My Recent Failure

August 27, 2017 — 1 Comment

“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Henry Ford

This month I failed.

At the end of July, I signed up for Ellory Wells’ 31 Day Writing Challenge with the intent of writing a new blog post every day during the month of August.  I started on the right foot with several new blog posts.  Then the wheels fell off my ride of best intentions during the second week of August, and I’ve struggled to regain momentum since then.  When it comes to the Writing Challenge, I am a failure.

Now, I could give you ten or twenty excuses as to why I failed.  Do those excuses really matter?  The facts are I did not even come close to writing every day in August.  As I look back on August and on my weak efforts during the challenge, I’ve learned a lot.

Here is what I’ve learned as a result of my failure.

4 Lessons From My Recent Failure

  1. Intentions do not automatically translate into success.  I have great intentions when it comes to a lot of things in my life.  Unfortunately, I fall short in many of these areas of intention.
  2. Our actual actions indicate the reality of our priorities.  My words in late July indicated that I wanted to make writing blog posts a priority; however, my writing output shows I may have let other things have a greater place in my priority pyramid.  My family went on vacation to the Jersey Shore during the second week of August, and this trip was a priority for me.  My job has required a lot of attention this month, and this was an important and necessary area of focus for me in August.  Finally, I noticed that my fitness and overall health had slipped a little bit over the past few months.  In the second half of August, I took steps to make my fitness and nutrition more of a priority.
  3. Accountability is essential to achieving the results we desire.  I’m independent and self-motivated, but I need people in my life who will give me an encouraging word or a swift kick in the butt from time to time.  I rely heavily on my wife, the guys in my small group, a few of my co-workers, and the people in my mastermind groups.  They remind me to stay on track.  They encourage me when I’m feeling discouraged.  And they won’t let me wander off course for very long.
  4. It’s never too late to start over.  When we experience failure in our lives, we have a couple of choices.  We can let our failure define us.  Or we can use our failures to motivate us.  I’m making the second choice.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

How have you responded to failure in your life?  What lessons have you learned from your failures?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Jon Stolpe

Posts

Christ-follower, husband, dad, engineer, manager, runner, blogger, sax player, group life fan, freelance writer, and the list goes on...
  • Lulu

    Is it really failure? Or just a re-evaluation of what is important? In the “big picture”, especially in God’s picture, would not the things that bumped the daily posting be “more important”. And being realistic – summer is a hard time to take on a daily project. Perhaps a weekly one would have been more down to earth. That been said, you were missed. Remember – if the “doing” doesn’t produce fruit, then maybe it shouldn’t be done.

    Me and failure? Oh – we are good “friends”. Failure has been one of my best teachers. It keeps me on my toes, humble and helps me sort through my priorities. I try to confess my part and ask the Lord to move me past it. I like to remind myself that I am a victor already, through Christ. I reflect on many inventors who failed many times – like Edison and more recently, Dyson – before success. Then I try to move forward. Grace – wonderful grace!