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Success Weakens Failure Strengthens

Success Weakens - Failure Strengthens

Being successful is a sure way to gain confidence.  But success does more than boost our self confidence.  It also weakens us.  It weakens us by filling us with a false sense of reality.  It takes hard work and appreciation and turns it into laziness and entitlement.  

Many people talk about failure and say that it is simply an opportunity to persist, or learn or improve.  I agree.  From failure comes strength.  Failure forces us to work hard to achieve the next goal rather than feeling entitled and slack off.  

The next time you are faced with a failure; don’t beat yourself up over it.  Realize that more opportunity exists in failure than from success.  Failure forces us to review our process and find areas of weakness to improve.  The person who starts something and has immediate success might get the accolades but they will likely not have the knowledge that someone who has failed over and over and still rose that level gained.  

Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all time.  He has accomplished great things.  Yet when it comes to coaching or owning a basketball team he is mediocre.  The reality is that Jordan was able to overcome many shortcomings during a game with his physical and mental toughness.  That does not mean he understands physical and mental toughness enough to coach his players to be successful.  Often times there is a gap with those that have been successful and those that have failed.  The ones that have failed gain a much more comprehensive understanding than those that have succeeded.

Every year the college football landscape exemplifies this.  There is always a team that is having newfound success but ends up losing to a lesser opponent.  Conversely there is usually a team or two that seems to dominate every opponent.  If we really listen to the coaches of the winning team we can usually pick up clues about what is going on.  

There are several things that almost every successful coach realizes:

  • Focus has to be on the task at hand and not about a future game or rankings
  • The entitled mindset is weak and will almost guarantee laziness and failure.
  • If we have a short celebration after a win and then get back to working hard on the next goal, we can eliminate the weakness that follows success.  

Take a cue from college football coaches that seem to overcome the weakness associated with failure and continue winning.  They may be difficult to please and seem unhappy with a win, but it is because they know that a win likely means they will have to prepare their team even more next week.  Focus on the task at hand, get rid of the entitled mindset and keep celebrations short with the effort going towards preparing for the next goal rather than looking back over a recent win.