$100 on Black; $1000 on Red

This year’s Black Friday sparked a few thoughts about success and failure.

Let’s pretend we can simplify the definitions of these terms based on whether we achieve the desired outcome or not.

  • Making the buzzer beater shot or not.
  • Meeting a deadline or not.
  • A $100,000 in losses instead of $1,000,000 in profit.
  • Happily married vs. joyful divorce.
  • And so on.

#1 – A 10 to 1 ratio.

I don’t know about you but I seem to fail a lot more than succeed. And in most cases, I think my successes are caused by my failures.

Is it really a 10 to 1 ratio? Maybe. It just sounded like a nice round number. The fact is, without failure, I wouldn’t have gotten better at communication, problem solving, exercise, writing, and leading.

#2 – They both have to exist.

It’s the law of opposites.

  • Cold vs. Hot
  • Happy vs. Sad
  • Win vs Loss
  • Good vs. Evil
  • Light vs. Darkness

We only know we have succeeded only because there’s an equal opposite outcome.

#3 – Failure is more valuable, don’t let it go to waste

If I win to often, I tend to think I’m not doing something challenging enough. I also start getting overconfident.

Failure is humbling. It’s a sign that there’s room for improvement. It’s the trigger that sets off the quest to get better and master a knew skill.

I summarize my thoughts with a few quotes.

  • Don’t think of it as failure. Think of it as time-released success. – Robert Orben
  • You’ll be given every opportunity to fail. It is your choice whether to embrace them or not. NEVER negotiate with your obstacles. – Chris Rollins
  • Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well. – Zig Ziglar


Which one are you betting on? Black or Red?




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