Accepting Failures as a Meaning for Success

Many people in the world look at failure as a bad thing. What I have come to realize is that you can learn a lot from failure. 

What do a professional Baseball Player, a famous rap artist, and a President of a College University all have in common? They all failed at first to get to their chosen professions.

Many people in the world look at failure as a bad thing. What I have come to realize is that you can learn a lot from failure. 

It builds you up mentally and allows you to learn from your mistakes. It gives you the opportunity to reassess your goals and where you want to go in life. 

I sat down with Former St. Louis professional baseball player Andy Benes, famous rap artist Immortal Technique, and Webster University President Beth Stroble, to give people advice on some of their failures and how they shaped them in life.

Beth Stroble (Webster University President)

Photo by Webster.edu

“When you have a failure, Do you internalize it and let it define you? Do you start to think of yourself as a failure? By asking those questions, failure can become a defining moment and a test of character.”  Stroble has had many failures, but her most important one, in particular, was at the University of Louisville. A Dean’s position became open. Beth wanted it and craved it badly. She stated, “I gave it my all..put my heart into it, and of course, I didn’t get picked.” 

“I said how am I gonna deal with this. There was a lot of hurt that I felt, A lot of questioning and doubt about what I could have done differently, could I have prepared better, and interviewed better. What helped her out from having failure is: “I began to focus on what others needed from me, instead of what Beth wanted and needed.”

“That’s what turned the tide for me. Life is experimenting, testing, and trying out new things. “You have to have some things not work out to get to that right choice.” “I would have never known I could be the president of a University if I just gave up after I didn’t get that Dean job.

Andy Benes (Former St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Pitcher)

Courtesy of Lacey G Souldier Turner

“Anyone who achieves greatness in any profession or just anybody in life is going to have to deal with failure.”  “One of the things I learned later in my career was when I was managed by Hall of Fame coach Tony LaRussa.”  “He said you have to embrace fear and failure and kind of make it your friend because you are gonna fail.” Life is tough and the toughest thing to me was overcoming what people thought and what they defined failure as a pitcher to be.” Some of his biggest failures were not on the field, it was dealing with the media, stuff he said that was not calculated. “I was pretty open and transparent and said things in an abrasive harsh way to the media and it came across as being arrogant, egotistical, and sarcastic.” “I think you learn from that. “If I could go back.I would say it’s a real privilege to play baseball being a St. Louis Cardinal, there is something special about playing in St Louis.” 

Benes started off the season 1-7 as a starting pitcher. What helped him in his failure was when he was out in public. Benes said, “People would encourage me, saying we are so glad that you are here.” “It helped to know that the people had my back and that propelled me to have a good rest of the year.” “I could focus and not think about how I was doing poorly.” “I got encouraged by the community and cardinal nation.” “In life, I think you have to take risks.” “You have to believe in your God-given talent and go out and do the very best you can.” “That’s all you can expect out of yourself.” “You can’t be afraid to do things because you are afraid to fail.” “In my line of work failure was out front for everyone to see, but that’s not the most important thing.” “It’s how you react to what happens in life that is gonna define how you do in life.” “If you are able to look failure in the eyes and say that I’m not gonna allow that to beat me.” “I’m gonna go above and beyond.” “I’m stronger mentally than that.” “Having a strong mental approach is everything.”

Immortal Technique

Photo by JORDAN COMMANDEUR

One of Immortal  Technique’s greatest failures was when he got arrested and did time in jail. He stated, “I considered being arrested a personal failure in life.” What hurt Technique the most was “I didn’t use the opportunities that I was given to be as good as a leader that I thought I could be. In his failure, he had to get inspired to keep himself sane in a survival sense. In this harsh time of failure, he decided to create positive energy around him and do things that would help further his career. Instead of giving up and succumbing to the harsh reality of the prison system. He wrote a lot of what would be his next couple of albums in jail. “There is a selective morality when people become incarcerated.” “I appreciate my family for not criticizing what I did.” “Not talking down on me.”

This opened the door for Immortal Technique to flourish and become one of the greatest activists that we have seen today. Immortal Technique has advice for people who are afraid to fail. “When you think you have something to achieve that’s impossible, try something that’s not as hard, but that’s also impossible.” “Something you have been scared to do but a little bit easier.” “Maybe it’s a difficult conversation you have to have with your father and mother or a secret that makes you uncomfortable, but you know you have to do it.” “I guarantee if you get that done correctly and you accomplish it, the impossible that you see as very hard to do, will seem a little bit smaller.”

Courtesy of Lacey G Souldier Turner
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