How Failing Often Leads to Magnificent Success

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

This time of year, there are many commencement addresses give at colleges throughout the U.S. When I have time, if they are posted on YouTube or elsewhere, I like to listen to them. They are inspiring and they remind me of when I left college, full of dreams and goals.

There was a speech in 2015 given by the BYU president, Kevin J. Worthen, it wasn’t a commencement address, but it popped up in my searches anyhow, so I listened to it, and it was interesting. One of the early lines in the speech was:

“My remarks today focus on one reality about that quest for perfection. It is a truth that is hard to deny, yet difficult to accept. It is this: We will all fail. More than once. Every day.”

He quickly explains what he means since he doesn’t want to demotivate the students. He explains that most of us focus on the wrong work in the first sentence — perfection. And the word to focus on is quest.

We all seek perfection in what we do. We want to be a perfect parent or spouse or writer. But in our quest or that pursuit of perfection, Worthen states, we will fail because it’s a constant journey to try to achieve our goal.