Monday Motivation: Let’s Talk Failure

Strange topic for Monday Motivation, you say?

I say, it has to be discussed, “Let’s talk failure.

Let's Talk about Failure

Let’s Talk Failure

First though, let us be clear.

Failure is the lack of success, a fracturing or giving way under stress, a state of inability to perform a normal function or an abrupt cessation of normal functioning.

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
~ Oscar Wilde

As a Professional Guide of Alaska for over 20 years, I have had my own taste of failure.

From Big Game hunters not getting their trophies to a promising Guide Trainee quitting, I have felt the pain and shame that comes from the lack of success.

“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” -Zig Ziglar

As I have gotten older (and hopefully, wiser) I have witnessed badly handled meetings and opportunities left hanging.

I have absorbed the blows of anger and reprisal and experienced regret.

What I know, down to the most basic of my own core is that “failure” is just a word. It is a word similar in meaning, to me, as: step #whatever, exercise, training and lesson.

Let’s Talk Failure

Growing up I learned the only way to fail was to quit. As long as I didn’t quit, I would not, could not, fail.

As a Mother, first always, I see failure the same way today and it is that I have tried to instill in my own children. To never quit, to simply adjust and try again.

“No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s ALWAYS had EVERYTHING work out for them with ZERO struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.”  ~ Chris Hardwick

For Pioneer Outfitters Survival and Guide Training, I make it clear to each Guide Trainee, quitting is not an option.

To become an Alaska Professional Guide is to understand that “failure” is simply something that isn’t going to be easy.

We do not fail, as Professional Guides, we keep trying and then we try again.

We do not quit.

“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.”  ~ Joel Osteen

If I could share with one strength, one lesson I have learned, one blessing, it would be to know, deep in your heart and soul, in the very front of your mind, that failure is only a word.

It is only a word that brings a better word to mind, my mind thinking of you, thinking of you hurting or shamed by a so-called-failure, the word is courage.


Courage is what I think of, when I think of the gift that you offer the world with your efforts.

Courage is what I want you to focus your energies into this morning.

Courage to take one more step, try one more time, take one more class or lesson.

Courage to stay the path.

Courage to lead.

Courage to follow.

Go! Use your courage to take that next step.

Even if that step is at the bottom of the mountain, to reach the top you have to take that step.

Gather all you’ve learned, take a deep breath and keep going.

We are all going to be happy you did.

Have a great week!

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Have a wonderful week!

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10 Responses to Monday Motivation: Let’s Talk Failure

  1. Turn Failure into Courage..I love that! I’m sure we’ve all done it at some point, but I never put the two together like that! You have the bestest way to motivate!

    As Always


    • Ann!
      Thank you. It takes courage to keep going and sometimes when we fail… we get wrapped up in the disappointment and forget the reason that got us going to begin with. Sometimes, we are embarrassed, feeling like we let other people down and just want to hide…. but then, what about the goal or dream? You have to keep working for it, and that takes courage.
      I am forever grateful you are here, motivating me to keep on, keeping on.
      ~ Amber-Lee

  2. Hi, Amber – those folks who have accomplished wild success understand their failures were the building blocks that lead to their greatest accomplishments in life.

    Only fools miss this truth.

    • A failure doesn’t mean that the goal wasn’t the right one. A failure doesn’t mean YOU aren’t the right or best person to reach that goal, that dream… It means that it will need more adjustment, a little more work, a little more time… Maybe a lot more. That is courage.

      Only fools miss this, you are right, Mark. But only fools quit, too, simply because it didn’t just grow roses and rainbows the first time out. Or the second. Or the tenth. It takes courage to understand this (the dream or goal) is worth each and every step or scar that it takes to have it.

      Thank you for being here, Mark.
      Did you bring monkeys?

  3. I have been thinking a lot about courage lately. I have my adventure with you booked for August this year, and I am doing all the legwork to make sure it’s a success – but didn’t some general say that the battle plan are only good until the first shot is fired?

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