A respected but overly generous colleague wrote today, “you are definitely this century’s father of intelligent training, Coach Sonnon.”
I once complained to my teacher each new variation on a technique or new combination I use to win a fight, other fighters instantly take and name their own with a different label.
He laughed and said, “Success has a thousand fathers. Failure is a bastard. Own your failures because no one else will want them and they’re what give you the experience you need to win. Love the bastards and don’t get swept up in paternity suits for what you occasionally get right.”
Although my colleague flattered me with her generous opinion of my work, I must defend myself against my ego when I read statements like these.
It can be such a slippery slope to accept credit, complement or even respect. And like my coach advised, focusing upon all of the necessary, albeit unwanted, failures which lead to the infrequent successes not only keeps us humble. It keeps us growing.
As Thomas Edison reflected, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”