mindset bite #019 - was that thing really a "failure"?


The year was 1986. It was Terry Crews' Senior year of High School. Crews, an NFL veteran and famous for his role in the Old Spice Commercials, the movie "White Girls" and the current hit show "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" was a star basketballer...

He was a part of the Flint Academy team that was highly ranked in the state. He was the starting C, and they were picked to go all the way - and their season backed this up...

They made it to the district championship - and with seconds on the clock, they were down by two with the score at 47-45, and less than a minute on the clock...

Crews takes an intercept from a cross-court pass, and rushes down the court with 5 seconds left - he's thinking "this is it, this is my time, I'm the hero"... he goes for the routine layup, and the ball rattles around the rim and rolls off...

Game over. Crews' team loses the game... and it's the upset of the year

Crew's recalls collapsing in a heap, and at 16yrs, he thought his life and career was over. The coach yells at him in the locker room post-game "you had no right to take that shot... you should have passed it... it's your fault we lost"...

And the worst part, all his teammates agreed...

The next day, the local paper publishes reports that say "Terry Crews had a shot, and he missed..." He recalls it being one of the darkest moments of his life - he was beyond crushed...

He tells the story of sitting in his bedroom, being in a deep funk, and thinking about passing it or other things he could have done... he reflects on everything that could have been done differently and was in a negative spiral...

Sound familiar?

But then, another voice arises in him... one of positivity...

"I took the shot"

This opened up a new spiral to go down, one of finding the positives in what had happened: "when you had the chance...when everything was on the line, you took your shot. You did that. YOU did that..."

What he learned from this was that whether he was to win or to lose, it was always going to be on his terms... it was always going to be up to him... he was in total control

If there is an opportunity in front of you, you HAVE to go for it - regardless of how it turns out - you have to aim to take advantage of your opportunities...

Go for it, take your shot, take your time - it's a lesson Crew's learned that he says sticks with him to this day

He recalls this as his most favourite failure of his life...

Call it a shift, call it a reframe or a new perspective - but this "seeing the positive in everything" is an integral part of cultivating the mindset of a champion and growing in life

And it's something you have to learn how to do

When I look at my life - my most favourite failure to date is failing nutritional biochemistry at uni for the second time and being sent an email that said "if you fail one more subject, you will not be able to finish this degree"

It was an ultimatum, a wake-up call, and the proverbial end of the line... change what you're doing, or it's all over. It's one of the greatest things to ever happen to me

You see, we have a terrible relationship with failure, a terrible definition for it and a terrible viewpoint toward it... when we hear the word or think of it, fear fills us

And yet, we never fail, we only ever learn... we only ever receive feedback... there's the old adage of many greats who have come before us to fail often, fail fast, and learn all that we can from doing so...

And it's this shift we need to help the next generations make. We need to educate them better on this topic


Actionable Tips/Questions:

  • When was a time you "failed" and what was the good hiding within it? If you sit back and reflect long and hard enough, you'll see good in every situation and not view it as a "failure" anymore

 

Nick Maier