Thursday, July 30, 2009

Success vs. Failure

Persevere is defined by Merriam -Webster Online as "to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement."

I believe this is a quality that defines success in all that we do and the beginning of the school year is an important time to address this issue with students and even ourselves. Success is very rarely a spontaneous occurrence (unless you win the lottery) and it is never easily attained. It is something that we all strive for through hard work over an extended period of time. I think we tend to learn as much or more from our mistakes as we do from our successes.

I had the opportunity to listen to John Smith (1988 and 1992 Olympic Gold medal winning wrestler, six consecutive world championships and current OSU wrestling coach with five NCAA team championships) where he stated that he doesn't really remember all of his 436 wins, but he could tell you everything about his 15 losses. Those failures are what motivates him, what drives him to succeed.

I found a couple of videos that discuss failure vs. success (thanks to the Successful Teaching blog) and I think it clearly demonstrates that success is created by ability and perseverance. You MUST create a drive to succeed even though you are faced with adversity.

Michael Jordan "Failure"

Famous Failures

Just think of the power that you have as instructors to create a POSITIVE environment for your students!

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