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Strength to Care

Lessons from Matthew & Isaac – Our CHARGE Syndrome Journey

Learning from failures…

Memorial Day was my second full day of spending time with Matthew at home while the rest of the family was taking part in a long holiday weekend dog show. Matthew and I have discovered a new game with Play-Doh, pressing it into the blank puzzle piece boards to form letters…typing on mom’s computer…throwing my cordless drill down the stairs while I am attempting a few home improvement projects. Good, quality bonding time.

In the morning I was watching Matthew attempting to retrieve some of his letter puzzle pieces from under the sofa. His attempts were comical and he failed several times but eventually achieved his ultimate goal of getting at the pieces. I guess I could have helped him…but he never asked and was determined to get it done on his own. Several times he was overcome by the sofa and was quickly covered by it’s mass. I did step in when he was in peril and couldn’t back himself out of the situation. He promptly signed to me to “go” after freeing him. I was inspired by his resolve.

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”  John Wooden legendary basketball coach

Much of my reading lately has taken me down the road of books about successful people and how they obtained success in their lives. Success defined as meaningful contributions such as a successful business, a fulfilling life of serving God, a prominent athlete, etc. There is one common denominator in all of the stories…people were not afraid to step out and fail. We can learn alot from failure. In fact, many of the things we use in our lives today came about as the result of a failure or two…Play-Doh was the failed attempt at making a wallpaper remover. Silly putty, a failed attempt at making a synthetic rubber substitute during world war II, Corn Flakes, penicillin, Velcro…the list goes on and on.
I began to think about my own life and reflect on how I have tried many things, some successful and others have been miserable failures. There have been things that I have not been very proud of and others I probably took way too much credit for…as I continue to learn that my gifts are not my own.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” John Wooden

I am learning that with every success there are many failures and experiences that have been the building blocks to make success happen. In this journey I am learning that integrity is built by admitting when I am wrong, when I fail, especially with my wife and family…they see the best and worst of me.
Next week I will be “off the grid” so-to-speak…taking time to do some fishing, reflecting and a little more fishing. I will be back in the blog seat when I return in a week to continue with more Lessons from the Book of Matthew.