Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Fail Greatly

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Earlier this week Pandora’s Director of Auto Sales Dennis Jackson closed a team meeting with a message that was so inspiring I heard about it from several team members afterword.  This wasn’t just the normal “thanks for the inspiration” stuff . . . it was “I went home and shared it with my 20 year old son” feedback.  Based on this reaction I asked Dennis for a transcript.  It’s longer than my normal posts, but the power of the message is worth the read.  So save it for when you have a few free minutes or even when you’re having a bad day.  Thank you for inspiring us, DJ!

“In the words of Robert F. Kennedy, “Fail Greatly.”

In business, we know what it is to experience failure as it is defined; “To not achieve a desired outcome.”  Doing so repeatedly, we also know that failure is not fatal, but to not try could be. 

Our many failures are not what matter.  How we react to these failures is what is most important.  “Winston Churchill defined Success as going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”  These words surely ring true for any successful salesperson.   

There are thousands of quotes about failure from some of the most successful people in history.  None of these quotes mention regretting failure. 

Michael Jordan talked about how he missed over 9,000 shots in his career, and how he was trusted with 26 game winning shots that he missed.  

Thomas Edison failed over 10,000 times while attempting to invent the light bulb.  When asked how he felt about failing so many times, he responded, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He went on to say, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

If we are not failing frequently, we are not challenging ourselves or we are not trying new things often enough.  How many attempts at a new path have we made in the last week, month, year?  How many times have we failed?  

The answer is a direct correlation to how many times we have stretched, challenged ourselves, and tried something for the first time.  We all know at least ten things we have yet to try to get what we want.  Why are we waiting? 

If we “Fail Greatly” with seriousness of purpose and persistence, our enthusiastic conviction to our cause will become infectious to those around us.

If we “Fail Greatly” making dignified attempts to achieve our goals, we will still advance our mission.   

If we “Fail Greatly” shunning mediocre attempts, we will consciously choose to be distinct over the potential alternative of being extinct.           

Where do we start?  Paraphrasing the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer, “The ancestor of every action you take is a thought.  Everything in your life today was first a thought in your mind.” 

To achieve what we want in our life, we must first be intentional and take time to think, contemplate, and plan.  Self-improvement is not Self-Indulgence.  It is the essential ingredient to advance in the direction of our dreams.

We must make appointments with ourselves to think about and plan our future moves. (put actual time on your calendar to meet with You). We must have time free of distractions to think.  We must set our appointment, turn off our mobile device, and focus on what it is we want in life and what attempts we will make next to achieve it.       

Why?  Because what we think about is what manifest in our life.  Period.   

If we spend time thinking about what’s wrong, how things used to be, or about what’s missing in our life, what is wrong and what is missing will be what continues to expand in our world. 

Imagine we were each given one million dollars for shopping spree to buy anything we wanted.  We first went to a car dealership and each saw a hideous car for $100,000.  We each bought one.  Then we each went to many stores doing the same with clothes and furniture, buying the first ridiculous items we saw.   When we were done, what would happen is we would each arrive home realizing that we had filled our life with countless things that we don’t want.

The same is true with our thoughts.  We each have energy to spend on what we want in our life.  We must choose to be intentional and spend our energy thinking about what we want.  Why?  Because what we think about is what will continue to show up in our life.  If you don’t believe that, look around you.  Everything in your life today is what you focused one at some time in your past.  

Changing our mindset now is how we change all aspects of our life going forward. 

Together, let’s be intentional, let’s “Fail Greatly” in our advance, and let’s do it with honor.  I have no doubt that each of us will be shocked at who we become in the process, and how what we want will manifest in our world.

 

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