On Sunday, my friend Jesse and I were texting back and forth and he reminded me of one of my all time favorite quotes from Michael Jordan:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots, I have lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan
Jesse and I were talking about how difficult it is to grow, to change, and to make progress when we are faced with the challenge of changing. The next night I was talking to my mom, and she reminded me that it takes time to figure out a method that works for oneself when learning a new skill, developing a new habit, or growing a new business.
So How Does Missing a Shot Help?
Over the past year, I’ve learned that achieving consistent growth is one of the most difficult undertakings I have ever encountered. It is, however, the most rewarding experience to look back and see how far I’ve come. In the midst of pushing forward, it’s easy to get discouraged by the failures, the slips, and the missed shots.
When you’ve given it your all, and it still doesn’t feel like it’s enough, it’s easy to lose hope. That is precisely the moment when you need to keep pushing forward, keep trying, and take another shot.
In society, it is easy to glorify the moments of success and forget the thousands of hours that those moments are crafted from. We don’t see the hours of practice that the pitcher puts in before throwing a shut out. We forget the long nights and broke months a business owner puts in for years before reaching that moment of momentum that propels them forward.
Enduring the failures of today means we will have the character to deal with the success of tomorrow.
No matter what you’re facing, or how many failures you encounter, don’t give up. Learn to cherish the times you miss the shot, the times that your best effort isn’t good enough, and keep trying.
“I will prepare, and some day my chance will come.” -Abraham Lincoln
Think about it this way: if you can persist through 9,000 failures like Michael Jordan, then you will ultimately reach success. Don’t give up. Failure is just a step towards your ultimate success.