Failure is an essential part of life

At the weekend I joined a whole host of expectant and hopeful spectators, of all ages, as we lined along the banks of St Joesph’s in Glenavy to watch our club’s Minor team play in the County Final.  A huge occasion for the club and for the boys and the mangers involved as this was the first time the club had made it this far at minor level.

But unfortunately, it was not to be their day.  Their opponents took home the cup.  These boys aged around 17 and 18, along with their managers, had given so much all year to get to this point.  The hours of training, the discipline, the dedication, and for some even missing out on their school formal so they would be match fit. 

What I would have liked to say to these boys after the match was – ‘It is ok.  This is part of life.  You need to have the failures to appreciate the successes. You will take this knock and it will make you stronger’.  But straight after that match was not the time for that.

When we fail.  When things don’t go our way.  We feel the instant pain of it.  The devastation.  The blame - either of ourselves or others.  We feel many negative emotions and in the worst cases, we might even give up.

I often talk about failures and why they are a necessary part of life.  If we never failed, how could we learn the coping mechanisms for when life decides to give us a kicking? – as it will invariably do!! If we always won, how could we ever develop our strengths?  And if we never failed, how could we ever appreciate the wins?

Ask any successful person and they will quote many failures they have had along the way.  No successful person did it by coming along an easy path.  It takes a lot of work, a lot of focus and a lot of energy to become successful.

The trick is to never give up.  NEVER GIVE UP.

If you want something badly enough you will keep going.  Even when others around you are telling you to let it go.  You will be relentless in your pursuit.  You will take the knocks, and there will be many, but your passion to succeed will drive you forward. 

You may loose friends along the way because they will not understand your focus.  They will tell you that you need a night out, that you can’t work or train all the time.  But they don’t see your goal.  You have to do what is right for you. 

Keep your eye on your goal. 

You get out of life what you put into it.  So put the effort into developing your dreams, setting your goals to achieve these dreams and working on that – every day. 

As you get older, you realise that there needs to be rain and even the odd storm in your life for you to appreciate the sunshine.  This is hard to understand when you are in the storm.  But the storm is where the growth is.  If you always won, or if you were always just given what you wanted, how would you ever discover what your strengths truly are?

The team I seen after the match were deflated.  But they will be back in full strength, full focus and ready next season to give it their all again.  Why?  Because of PASSION - they are passionate about their sport. 

If you are not passionate about what you do then you are just killing time.  You only get one life here.  One chance.  So find what you are passionate about.  Find what fills your soul.  So that when times get tough, and they will, you have your passion for whatever it is you are doing, to pull you through, to get you going again and to see that you can do this.