Think about it. In our minds, we have set goals with specific timeframes. When we don’t meet our goals in our specified timeframe, we think we have failed. And then we have to manage all of the mental and emotional baggage that come with our perceived failure. How exhausting!
A perfect example is the recent accomplishments of Kei Nishikori from Japan at the US Open Tennis Tournament. As the #10 seed, he beat the #1, #3 and #5 seed to qualify for the Championship match only to lose in three straight sets to the #14 seed. Kei is ranked 10th in the world, the 5th highest paid men’s tennis player, one of biggest heroes in Japan and the first male from Asia to reach a Grand Slam Tennis Final. He fought, he overcame, and he played incredible tennis to reach the US Open Final all to be wiped out by the #14 seed. So did he fail because he lost? His goal was the US Open Title and understandably so. However, his incredible accomplishments preceding the final were overshadowed by his loss. I was devastated for Kei so I can only imagine how he felt. All of the effort, all of the time, all of the sacrifice, all of the physical pain he went through and no US Open Title. Can you relate to such agony?
I started to think, would Kei ever recover from this disappointment? Was this his one chance and he blew it? What’s he going to do tomorrow when he wakes up and remembers he lost? Oh, I would not trade anything to be in his shoes right now. Although, many of us have been there. We have worked towards goals that didn’t manifest in the timeframe we expected and had to pick ourselves up off of the floor, dust ourselves off and move on. What we forget is all of the sub-goals we accomplished along the way. Kei beat the #1 player in the world! He was the first man from Japan to make it to a Grand Slam Semi-Final and then the first man from all of Asia to make it to a Grand Slam Final. Think about that…China’s population is over 1.3 billion people alone. Kei is the first Asian male ever in all Asian populations present and past to reach this level. So in my opinion, he didn’t fail. He just got one-step closer to his ultimate goal. His ability to recognize his sub-goals and push through his disappointment will be what takes him to the next level.
And another thing…we often think we only have one chance at success and that is simply not true. Anyone who has succeeded has missed the mark, missed their goals and missed opportunities. The thought that gets me through my own goal misses is that God is a god of second, third, fourth chances, and many more. Whether you have failed relationships, businesses, financial circumstances, career opportunities, etc. you can succeed at all of those if you choose to seek and accept another chance and set another goal that will pave the way to your ultimate goal.
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