I’m sitting across from this sweet old man who celebrated his 80th birthday with a water ballon fight. Because life is short and should be fun.
We’re in the office of the company he built from scratch in the heart of Texas, a company that pulls in millions of revenue in manufacturing.
The secret to his success? Studying their failures and learning from them.
He started in this industry of ball valves and other machinery that I don’t quite get by working for another company where busted products would get returned and shelved. What that company saw as a failure, he saw as a missed opportunity for getting better.
So he started his own company, with the core purpose of taking apart those busted products and understanding what went wrong. And then figuring out how to do it better the next time.
The result? They lead the industry in research and development and growth.
He didn’t see failure as a setback, he saw it as an opportunity.
That puts me back on my heels and I sit for a moment. Because that will preach to a soul on this Monday morning.
I’m in a season of wrestling, of trying to discern what is hidden in the soul whispers and emotional unrest of the past few weeks. I want to be brave, I want to be wise and humble but more often than not find myself defaulting to fear, to ego, to a whole lot of running in circles in my mind.
Sitting across from this wise man, I know he’s just given me a gift to take into my week and sit with. And maybe you too?
- Are you shelving your failures when you could be taking them apart and learning for the next round?
- Is the key to who God would have you become is sitting in the closet of mistakes that you’re trying hard to ignore?
- What if we saw our set-backs, our failures and our u-turns as opportunities rather than road-blocks?
It’s painful, embarrassing at times to look at those moments where we fell rather than flew. But this week, could we pick up one moment, dust it off and ask God to show us what He would teach us from our stumbles?
It could be the difference between muddling through life or breaking away from the pack to run hard into the wild and beautiful places waiting just beyond the horizon.