I had an incredible gun season this year in Illinois, sharing deer camp with some great friends and scoring on this 140” 8 point first thing Friday morning! In fact, I had my best season ever in Illinois, filling both my archery and gun tags for the first time this year after hunting this state for 9 years now. Come to think of it, this has been my best season ever, scoring on 5 great bucks so far – wow, what a contrast from last year! At this time last season I was batting a big fat 0!!!! I even managed to keep that perfect streak going right up to the end of the year and I skipped the tag sandwich, choosing a plateful of tag Casserole for my New Years feast! How does that happen? How do you go through an entire bow and gun season, hunting a handful of the best states and Canadian provinces, spending hundreds of hours on stand, and go home empty handed. Then, turn around the next year and fill every tag you lay your hands on? I know it’s called hunting for a reason but talk about going from zero to hero! All I can say is I know first hand that it takes some failures in life, no matter what, to enjoy some success!
Consider this for a moment, is failure a key to success, is it the key to excellence? Used to be we all knew that but nowadays it sounds revolutionary. Maybe because today, everybody wants it ALL right now. Nowadays, some think children are too fragile to sustain the trauma of life. Seems like today, every mediocre singer is a superstar, every so so athlete an all time great – has greatness become a cut rate commodity? You can’t take shortcuts to success or the backdoor to fame otherwise you will be unready and unprepared once you get there. Why has it become possible for people to reach the goal without doing the work? Isn’t there a reason anymore to go through the whole ordeal, some value to be found in adversity? One becomes tougher from those things and we learn failure is not fatal, nor defeat eternal. One gains depth and becomes ready through adversity, and maybe even truly great! The problem with greatness, in our society obsessed with perception, it looks too easy. Seen from the outside by those who don’t know any better, greatness looks like magic, like anyone could do it if he knew the secret or understood the trick.
When we talk of talent, we nod to luck, but too often we ignore the most important – the hard work, the many failures, the arriving early and staying late, the rejection of complacency, the refusal of contentment, the unceasing push to be just a little better than the day before. Is failure the key to success?
He fakes left, goes right, elevates to the hoop, ﬁnds a man in his path, spins in midair, throws the ball backward over his head and scores….. It leaves the announcers breathless and the crowd roaring and we all wonder, how??? The answer is simple. That moment, seen by millions, was built on a thousand other moments of hard work and failures that only Jordan himself will ever know. You have to pay some dues before you get to walk as winners do!
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way comparing myself to Michael Jordan or any other great athlete. My point, success and failure go hand in hand and for every success I ever had or ever will have in the field….it has come after many other moments, hours, days and years of hard work and failures!