I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. It was a great place to grow up cheering for Da’ Bulls, Da’ Bears, Da’ Cubs. I remember watching Mike Ditka lead the Bears to a Super Bowl Championship. He had a way with words and this quote cuts right to the point. No matter how much we want it to be, success is never permanent. It fades, it is always in the past and we can then spend forever trying to recapture, recreate or live off our past glory.
The other side is also true, failure is not fatal. It may feel that way and over the years it may haunt us, which means we have to have the courage to let it go. Failure is often our best and cruelest teacher. The lessons learned through flubbing, flunking and falling are the lessons we never forget and usually pledge to never duplicate in the future. They test our character and help us fine tune our inner selves beyond our current circumstances.
We all define success and failure differently. If you ask most people their definitions they will usually reveal what is important to them about their lives. What they want, what they have learned and what they hope they leave to the generations that follow. As we live out each day it is important to count the wins and the loses in the same way, with the same commitment and passion. Everyone takes a hit every now and then that doesn’t make them a loser. Everyone wins and that doesn’t make them a success. What makes us who we are is how we react, learn and grow from both our success and our failures. Both are part of life and we wouldn’t be who we are today if we left one side of that equation blank.