Call me proud Father; my son Thomas is getting ready to graduate from college in a few weeks. This occasion has spurred me to, once again, offer up some fatherly advice as he prepares to take on the challenges of the “real world.”
Quite naturally for me, I began to look around for just the right book that would offer Tom some solid, useful, advice that would not only help him to set off on the right path, but that he could turn to for advice and inspiration when needed. There are plenty of classics from the likes of Carnegie, Covey, Blanchard and Maxwell, that I myself have used often.
I started to look back over the course of my career and the many ups and downs and dramatic turns, that I have taken thus far and I determined that much of what I have done can be attributed to hard work; but not without a solid dose of confidence and faith in my own ability. It’s not something that you can really teach, but I firmly believe that you can set the table and prepare yourself to never be afraid; take the leap and the net will appear.
As I was looking for just the right book, I came across John C. Maxwell’s latest, Sometimes You Win - Sometimes You Learn and was struck that this might be the one. Maxwell has always offered up actionable advice and illustrated his thoughts with practical, real life examples of how the tools he writes about have been put to use.
Never be afraid to fail
If I could boil down once piece of advice that Maxwell offers early in the book that fits perfectly with what I would like to pass along to Tom, it would be, never be afraid to fail. If you are afraid of failure, chances are that you’ll never try something and if you never make the attempt, chances are you’ll never succeed.
There is never a “good time” or the “right time” to do something. It doesn’t exist. Waiting for the “right time” is just doubt and hesitation getting in the way of doing something. If you have an idea and you develop a plan, then pull the trigger and make things happen! If you fail…that’s okay. If you fail and you will at some point, then be sure to ask yourself “what have I learned?” If you don’t ask that question the chances are next time you won’t pull that trigger. It’s all about accessing what you have learned and putting that to use the next time you step up to the plate.
Learning is the key
While you have spent your time getting your education, learning never stops. Maxwell makes the case that much of what we do is really about being open to learning; whether it’s improvement, adversity, change or maturity.
While Maxwell offers dynamic leadership advice for people at all stages of their careers, and while Sometimes You Win - Sometimes You Learn can be useful to those farther along their career path, it is best suited for those new to Maxwell and those starting out.
With that I will pass the Maxwell on to Tom and let him know how proud my wife and I are of what he has accomplished and that we are confident, and he should be as well, that he will work hard, move forward with no fear, have faith in his ability and accomplish even greater things. With love, Dad.