The Other F Word

The F word.

No, not that one.

Failure. Today let's discuss something above and beyond CLM technology that relates to everything we do in our lives.

Everyone hates failure. No one likes putting effort and energy and passion into something that ultimately goes nowhere.

I had failed at a project in my past where I had invested a lot of time and energy. I worked very hard on it, and being an optimist, I believed until the very end that I could bring it together and it would all be OK. But it wasn’t, and eventually I had to face the F word and accept that it wasn’t going to happen.

I have a hard time accepting failure. Yes I am a grown adult, but I will still spend an evening sulking with a glass of wine and Netflix. I turned to my favorite comfort food TV show, the show I can always rely on, Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Yes, that is terribly nerdy. I love it and always have.)

As I sipped my wine on the couch, Captain Picard reminded me of one of life’s important lessons:

“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.”

I didn’t want to hear that lesson in that particular moment, but he was right. Sometimes we strive so hard and do everything we can, but we just don’t make it to the goal. And that is OK. Because we are human, and if we did not struggle and occasionally fail, we would never succeed.

No great endeavor was ever accomplished without failure. The Beatles were rejected by a record label. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Dr. Seuss was rejected by dozens of publishers. But they all dusted themselves off and tried again. Because failure is inevitable. Failure is human. Failure forces us to grow. Failure may be uncomfortable and even painful, but without failure we do not move forward.

It’s OK to spend an evening licking your wounds, perhaps with a glass of wine and a favorite TV show. The important part is that you get up the next day and try again. Everyone fails. That is not weakness. That is life.

Live long and prosper.

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