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Real People–Real Life…Real Learning

The word “fail” is a verb and is defined as falling short of success or achievement. The word “failure” is a noun defined as the person or thing that is unsuccessful at achieving. I understand the first but am a bit hazy on what constitutes the second. You can fail to stop, fail to yield, fail to complete, or fail to show. Some fails are considered more important than others. You could fail to yield at an intersection, and the result could be anything from nothing to the devastating loss of life.


Each day, we are faced with hundreds of decisions and experiences. Some of these don’t turn out as we planned, but at what point do we cross over to the dark side and become a “failure?”

Is there a little man from the Department of Failure running around with a checklist, marking down each time you fall short of meeting expectations?

Is there some formula like f + F = failure, in which f is 10 small fails and F is 3 large ones?

After you have reached failure status, are you picked up by the failure police and taken to failure court?

I contend that failure is the act and not the person. I would also argue that failing is not always a bad thing; there are many lessons to be learned through the act of failing. I still can remember the many lessons that I learned in the simple childhood activity of learning to ride a bike. Also, I believe that the only true failure is in doing nothing…making no attempt to succeed or achieve.

How you perceive the term “failure?” Do you make a couple of attempts at something, fall short of the goal, and automatically declare yourself a failure? Perhaps, you understand that through the act of attempting and falling short, some of the greatest lessons of life are learned. I can assure you that in my lifetime I have fallen short of many goals, and I have yet to meet the little man with the checklist or the failure police. I guess that means I must be successful or maybe still under correction and getting better every day!

I Care,


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