Seeking success or fear of failure?
I was watching interviews of the NCAA coaches this weekend (Yea I know, I only watch Sportscenter) and Jim Calhoun was asked what keeps him going even though he is 68 and has already won 2 championships. His reply: “If you went to Roy Williams or Mike Krzyzewski, if they admit it or not, I don’t care, if they don’t fear failure more than they seek success, I’ll be very surprised.”
This really really surprised me. I always hear people who are successful in their own fields talk about how you shouldn’t shy away from failure and embrace mistakes and use it and learn from it. Is Calhoun’s thinking old school while embracing failure is the new age “My son can be anything he wants to be” thinking?
I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I just wanted to know if people wake up thinking “Don’t fuck up, Shithead” or “You’re amazing, now do amazing things”, and has your outlook actually helped/hurt?
Try rephrasing. Many type-A personalities think “failure is not an option,” so it drives their success. Being your own harshest critic means you overcompensate for the failure margin, thus creating a highly motivated individual who is ultimately successful.
Personally, I don’t think that anyone truly “embraces” failure—nobody wants to screw up. It’s just that if you do fail, you have to deal with it, and the way you can justify and accept your failure is to get something out of it. I also think that line is more likely to be used by people who have benefitted from risk-taking, and it’s much easier to say that in retrospect.
It’s all about having that optimum level of fear so that it motivates you and doesn’t paralyze you.