You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
– Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, 121 AD – 180 AD
I used to equate success with winning, but these days when I think about my personal success in agility I think of leading the hurricane that is Ruby over a course and not fear for his life. I think of Java learning to do her contacts. I think of the little things, which means I look forward to little things and am incredibly happy when those little things happen. I am not in competition with anyone and this brings me peace.
But even in my peaceful little world where there is no competition and only rainbows and unicorns there is Failure. You know, when you have tried oh so many ways to get your dog excited about working with you, but they look like the butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth. Or you are sure your handling was clear, but your dog still ran right past that jump. Or you have spent months and months training running contacts, working through numerous setbacks, only to realize that your dog is a maniac and there is no way running over a dog walk is ever going to be safe for him. No matter what your definition of Success is, Failure is always at the other end of the stick.
The other day I came across this little gem and was surprised by the difference between how entrepreneurs tend to look at failure and how the rest of us do:
Question: A lot of hardware companies have failed at manufacturing. How do you plan to succeed?
Grace Choi: I have failed a lot of times before. This isn’t my first rodeo. I’m a serial inventor and have been through the manufacturing ring before. I know all the pitfalls. We might fail at some things, but we just need to make sure we don’t fail where it counts.
Grace Choi has failed many times before and she wears that like a crown. She knows the reasons she has failed, and is not afraid to take another chance. She has learned from past attempts and because of this she is now in a better position to succeed.
What a freeing perspective, to regard failure not as something that is blocking you from success or as something that predicts more failure in the future, but as the very reason why you are going to succeed!
How would we look at our training or competition challenges if we had this mindset? Would we try more things? Would we have more fun? Would we ultimately succeed more? Food for thought.
This blog post is a part of Dog Agility Blog Events. You can see all the other blog posts on Success here: http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/success/