Failure is a moment…and then you decide

It has been far too long between posts. I could write about the many things that have been going on; the work, the family, the dissertation, the life, but really in the end I just haven’t made it a priority to gather my thoughts in this forum and write them down. I should have, if only for me, but if the best time to plant a tree is 20 or 40 years ago and the second best time is today (if you’re not deep in a Canadian winter) then the best time to start writing was yesterday and the second best time is today.

I love sports, pretty much all sports though I admit some are only highlights “SportsDesk” viewing for me, football and hockey I PVR and watch as much as I can, particularly the Edmonton Oilers, KC Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Eagles, Colts, Niners these have been my teams over the years but I enjoy great plays and great players across the NFL, CFL, NHL and NBA.  Lessons never cease to come from sports and are relatively easy to apply in our own lives.

Take a minute to consider Blair Walsh kicker for the Minnesota Vikings. In the first week of the 2015 season playoffs he had a chance to win the game for the Vikings and defeat the Seattle Seahawks, a relatively simple chip shot kick in a range where he has previously made 189 of 191 kicks from 27 yards or closer – in short Blair Walsh is money from this distance ALMOST a sure thing.  And then ALMOST happened, shanked it, pulled it wide left and now he’s 189 of 192 kicks and the Vikings season has ended. Failure…but no where near fatal and that’s a key difference.

Watch the video of the play – the Seahawks joyous, clearly recognizing their good fortune, stunned disbelief really the primary reaction of the Vikings, the joy for the Seahawks lasted about 7 days then they too lost and their season came to an end, that’s the way it works for all but one team every year in every league.

Take a minute to read the MMQB (Sports Illustrated Article)  by Peter King @SI_PeterKing a conversation with Blair Walsh and a great story of the support and reality check he received from a group of elementary students – would have been cool if it had come from a group of adults at some forward thinking corporation as well but perhaps us grown-ups need a reminder about perspective…ya think?

The President of Harvard wrote a letter a couple of years back suggesting that students of Harvard read, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz, I was lucky enough to be in the Harvard book store, read the letter and then read the book she wrote, “Twelve hundred years before Rene Descartes penned his famous “I think therefore I am” the philosopher and theologian (and eventual saint) Augustine wrote, “fallor ergo sum”: I err, therefore I am”.

Blair Walsh like 100% of the rest of us on this province made a mistake – in his case a very correctable mistake and that’s it, lesson learned a part of his life story but just a part, not even a chapter and he’s decided that after that moment of failure it’s move on, move up, and continue to work at being the best he can be.  I’d suggest on many levels as a fan and on a personal level related to the multitude of mistakes or failures we experience every day it’s a pretty good example to follow.