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Failure IS an Option

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

Byline: Emily Osterhaus

What do Walt Disney, Michael Jordan, and J.K. Rowling have in common? And no, this isn’t the start of a bad joke…thing they all have in common is failure!

  • Walt Disney was fired because he “wasn’t creative”. WHAT?! He had to close his first animation company ‘Laugh- O- Gram’ because he lost a distributor partner. Now, Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognizable characters in the entire world and Disney is a ginormous company with their own streaming service, parks around the world, a cruise line, and more!

  • Michael Jordan, who many say is the greatest basketball player of all time, got cut from his high school basketball team. I’d love to know how that coach felt when he became such a star. MJ himself said "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

  • J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by over a dozen publishers. She has since been recognized as the first person to ever become a billionaire, with a B, by writing books, that’s insane! I’m sure all of those publishers are mad at themselves every day for rejecting her. I personally can’t imagine my childhood without Harry Potter, my family was obsessed!

To many, failure means a test handed back with the letter ‘F’ in red pen on the top, not placing in the race or a not-so-great review at work. I’ve been down in the dumps like that before, it’s discouraging, it’s disheartening, and frankly, it’s disappointing. But I think it’s time our perspective on failure gets a little bit of a makeover. If there’s one thing you’ll see on the path to success, it’s failure. It’s essentially a rite of passage to reach that success you’re striving for.

There are few things that feel worse than failing at something. But in a sense, failure should be celebrated. Failure should motivate us. Without failure, we would not have electricity, modern plumbing, smartphones, or much of anything that we use on a daily basis. Imagine your life without all of those things… pretty unrecognizable, right? We should do our best to transform how we think of failure.

Failure means you’re on the path to success! Maybe you want to open your own business, start training for that marathon, or you want to learn how to knit… go for it! Keep going, keep growing, and you got this!



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