Failing Forever

“Like soldiers on a winter’s night with a vow to defend,
No retreat, baby no surrender.”
Bruce Springsteen-No Surrender

Okay, so this week’s blog topic is going to be about, You, Me, Michael Jordan, Lucille Ball, The Beatles, Ulysses S.Grant, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, Wayne Gretzky and yes of course…..Bruce Springsteen. So let’s tie all these people together. The blog where hockey, music, entertainment, business, history and life intersect!!!

This week there are a lot of youth hockey players trying out for teams. Most of you who follow this blog should make your team,  which is great. But some of you won’t. Some will fail.
And it’s okay. In fact, it’s great.

Failing is the topic I want to look at today. Failing is a great topic.  That’s right, failing is a great topic.  How can that be you ask?

Ninety-nine percent of you lost the last hockey game you played and were eliminated from some league. Does that mean you are a failure?
How are you reacting to it? I assume you are not quitting.

Even the guys who seem to never get cut and make every team they try out for will eventually get cut and fail.  Just ask some of the guys left off the Canadian Olympic hockey team this year…..

Failure has taken everyone over at some point and will probably continue to get us all. Not just in hockey but in all aspects of life. Sports, school, business, career, relationships… name it. We all fail at many, many things on a daily basis.

The amazing thing about failure is that it can also be your best friend. That is good news because you are going to be failing for most of your life. The thing that you have to work at is becoming buddies with failing. Learn to embrace it and use it to your advantage.

Think about this. If you were to become a salesperson and you succeed in making one out of every ten sales to prospective buyers, you are a superstar. That means enduring nine failures to get one success….. and that makes you great. Time to develop a thick skin…..Pro Baseball hitters, one hit out of every three at bats and your in The Hall of Fame. That means the guys in Cooperstown were failures close to 70% of the time…….

Everyone who reads my blog knows I have some fun and make many references to musician Bruce Springsteen. At one point I lived near him and was fortunate to get to meet him on a few occasions and chat with him. One of the things he talked about that always stuck with me was that when he was starting out his career, he could not get a record deal or a company to believe in him. He tried over and over again for years, playing small clubs up and down the Jersey Shore, but no one thought he would be a mainstream success. What he said was interesting, “I initially failed at getting them to believe in our music the way I did.  But there was no quit in us…….we knew we had it, we just had to keep going. We made changes and paid our dues…..” There is wisdom in Bruce’s music.

He is not alone.


Failure discourages some people and prevents them from trying. Other people decide to use failure as fuel to push themselves to accomplish amazing things.   Failure is a certainty, your reaction to it defines you.
If you are failing at things that means that you are trying. That is what is important in growth. In learning from the failing and changing course to a better outcome.
One of the most referenced quotes and one of my favorites is from Thomas Edison. When being asked how he felt about repeatedly failing to design a working light bulb over the course of many years, he replied,  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Listen to  Wayne Gretzky talk about losing and learning from it early in his incredible career before he ever won a Stanley Cup…….Sometimes failure just means that you are just not ready yet for success yet and you have to do something about it.


Wayne obviously did something about failing…….

Even as you age it doesn’t stop. I can’t even count the amount of failures I have had over the years…..but that is great news! I have to be getting better right????

“Failure is just your wake up call to do things differently.”

So get out there and get failing!!! Forever. Just react properly. Don’t let failure define you, make it refine you.

I said earlier failure can be your best friend. For failure to help you it  must be met with the right attitude. An attitude that says, “it’s ok, I failed but there is no way I am ready to quit, just adjust my sights……”  One of No Surrender…..:) you knew it was coming!
Enjoy. And next time you fail at something, I hope you remember this blog.