Today’s quote of the week comes from Elmer Letterman, a well-known life insurance salesman in the 1930’s who said…

A man may fall many times but he won’t be a failure until he says someone pushed him.

After listening to Tim Sanders tell the story of Elmer Letterman, which you can watch here, it’s a three and a half minute video. I googled Elmer Letterman and happened upon the quote.

The reason why this quote struck me is because I have been thinking a lot about failure lately. Reflecting on both my past failures and my fear of future ones. I’m at a turning point in my life where I’m starting to recognize the effect fear has on me and how I respond to it.

In my life, and I’m sure in yours too, we’ve made mistakes, fallen on our ass and in general just royally failed. Sometimes it’s intentional sometimes it is unintentional. The response we have to it is always intentional. 

Which gets me to the trigger of this quote for me… “…someone pushed him” that line just hit me in the gut. Thinking about my past I realized that whenever I failed or faltered and blamed somebody else, I made Zero further progress on that goal. Every single time… it was amazing.

When you give up control of your actions and attach the blame of them on someone or something else, you lose. There is nothing else you can do about it. You’ve thrown up your hands and said this happened because someone else did it. Which instantly means that you can’t fix it only that other person can.

This puts you into an uncontrolled state where your fate is not decided by you. Life cannot be lived that way. No matter what happens, good or bad, it is your responsibility. 

If you stand up and own your failure… you’ve done the number one hardest thing when failing, stand back up! That’s the power of owning your decisions; it allows you to always get back up.

For when you are on your feet you can move forward once again. 


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