When Best Plans Fail — Succeed Anyway

August 10, 2016 - Serious Struggles

IMG_4099We approach life with the attitude that we’re going to do our best to succeed, but sometimes even the best plans fail.

What we do in response to failure determines who we are. More importantly, it defines who we become.
Human nature tells us that we should give up in the face of defeat—if not the first time, then the second or third. But history is filled with success stories of perseverance and tenacity that inspire us to move forward when we don’t want to. Refusing to quit in the face of insurmountable odds is more important than a flawless strategy.

That’s not to say that the second, third or tenth time we attempt a task we will overcome, but persisting in the face of exhaustion or humiliation is what separates those who succeed from those who don’t.

Great success means:

  • Focusing on the positive instead of the negative—as Michael Jordan has done even though he has missed more than 9000 shots in his career, lost 300 games, and by his own account failed over and over again.
  • Understanding what’s important as Abraham Lincoln did realizing that, more than anything else, he needed to be true to his calling.
  • Refusing to give up as Thomas Edison urged when he said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
  • Understanding that God will complete the work He begins as Vincent Van Gogh did when he said, “I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.”
  • Realizing as the apostle Paul did that God permits trials to come our way for a purpose, and that we are to finish the race when difficulties surround us. 

It’s not necessary to be a pillar of strength in the midst of the storm. Getting up again and doing our best to overcome is what matters. Sometimes we do this with strength and boldness. Other times we are forced to take each painful step one at a time.

I’ve been through failure and success. One thing is certain—growth is more powerful when we rise to great heights following a devastating failure. It’s not for the fainthearted. One must refuse to accept defeat.