Can you guess who this “failure” is?
- Difficult childhood
- Less than one year formal schooling
- Failed in business (’31)
- Defeated for legislature (’32)
- Again failed in business (’33)
- Elected to legislature (’34)
- Fiancee died (’35)
- Defeated for Speaker (’38)
- Defeated for Elector (’40)
- Married, wife a burden (’42)
- Only one of four sons lived past age of 18
- Defeated for Congress (’43)
- Elected for Congress (’46)
- Defeated for Congress (’48)
- Defeated for Senate (’55)
- Defeated for Vice President (’56)
- Defeated for Senate (’58)
When you think about a series of setbacks like this, doesn’t it make you feel small to become discouraged, just because you’re having a hard time in life?
Dissatisfaction with things as they are, the persistent struggle to reach expanding goals, not the triumphs, is what makes people great.
This is the story of a man who never stopped trying even though his failures were many and his successes were few. He is today one of the most beloved Americans and you will certainly know him when one more item is added:
- Elected President (1860)
The “failure” was, of course, Abraham Lincoln.
Basketball season is here. High school teams, for the most part, are training diligently for upcoming basketball games; while NCAA men’s and women’s basketball is well underway. As attention shifts to the excitement surrounding all of this, I was reminded of the above “Biography of a ‘Failure'” by Gerald H. Daleiden. It was shared with me by my university basketball coach many years ago and stuck with me every since.
This is a great time of year to remind your basketball players – those that made the team and others that were not so fortunate – of what it really means to “fail”. Define it. And, be sure to put all the opportunities and challenges that your team – both collectively and individually – will face in context. This will create a resiliency that will serve you, your coaching staff and basketball players well in the coming months as you pursue a championship.
Do you work early. Anticipate. Re-frame.
What’s your definition of failure? How do you deal with the failures that you or your team face? What quotes have given you inspiration to overcome a failure in your basketball or life experience?
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Far too often, basketball players make the game too hard with their go to move. They use multiple dribble combo move that rarely result in a successful attack. James Harden
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