Make success your only option, outcomeWritten by Tom Richard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Arriving late to the airport for a flight to New York, I rushed to the self-service machine to retrieve my boarding pass. Receiving nothing but errors, I went to the customer service counter to see why the check-in machine wasn’t working. The representative calmly told me that it did not give me my pass because my flight was leaving in 15 minutes. As she handed me my boarding pass, she told me there was no way I would get through security and to the gate in time to make it.
Walking away from the counter, I thought to myself that missing that flight was simply not an option. I had a very important training session to run in New York, and, missing that flight would mean missing the entire training. This was not an option for me. I had to get on that flight.
With a head full of determination and a body pumped with adrenaline, I ran to the security line and began to talk my way to the front of the line. In just 10 minutes, I was through the metal detector doorway, free to run to the gates of my boarding plane. With only five minutes left, I gripped my baggage tightly and dodged my way through the mass of sluggish people.
Nearing the gate, I saw the plane still parked with the skyway intact. The door to the skyway was shut and there was no one at the check-in counter. In full sweat and out of breath, my determination was not phased. Strong in my conviction to not miss this flight, I started to pound on the skyway door. “I’m here! Don’t leave, I’m here!” I called out at the top of my lungs.
After a few yells, I heard someone say, “Hey buddy, they haven’t even gotten off the plane yet.” Turning around, I saw at least a hundred people gawking behind me. All of them were waiting to get onto the same plane. You would think I would have been a little embarrassed of the spectacle I made, but I wasn’t. I took a deep breath and smiled, knowing I had succeeded in not missing my flight.
Many say people have a fear of failure when in fact the exact opposite is true. Too many people have a fear of success. People are afraid to test what others call impossible, or are ashamed to look ridiculous chasing after success and pounding on its door until it gives in.
Yet, success takes relentless determination and a strong resolution that failure is not, and never will be, an option. It is not about letting the ends justify the means, but rather about allowing you to boldly and fearlessly chase after success. The fact that I had to make a fool of myself talking my way through the security line, madly dashing between crowds of people and yelling at the top of my lungs at a closed skyway door would have been enough to prevent most people from ever doing something so bold. It would have been enough to prevent them to succeed.
In business, we have all had moments where we have been vulnerable, and many more instances where we have been burned by our vulnerability. We allow these experiences to negatively shape the way we conduct ourselves in the future, slowly choking off our determination and hope.
While there certainly is merit to learning from experience, let’s learn to only absorb those lessons that nourish and strengthen our resolve to attain success. Whether your triumph comes from over-preparing for a presentation, arriving 30 minutes early to a meeting or serving a small customer with the same gusto you would show to a larger one, don’t be afraid to chase after success. When failure is not an option, success is the only outcome.