I went out for dinner Sunday night with my wife, Wendi, and good friend Dan Starcher at Wild Ginger China Bistro in Wooster, Ohio. This was my fortune cookie:
For those who might not be able to see the picture, it says, “There is no shame in failure — only in quitting.”
This really resonated with me. Brian White, the lead minister at Parkview Christian Church, where I am a member, addressed this in a sermon earlier in the day. If nothing else, then failure at least teaches one way not to do it.
During our Sunday School class, which I normally teach, but Ed Shultz was teaching, he challenged us to make a difference. Again, the idea was to do something and not just think we have no ability to make a difference.
My mother, Carmen, raised four of us, and she always told us to get an education and she let us know nothing was ever out of our reach. Consequently, all four of us have found success in different ways. My sister Ariel was a top hair colorist and massage therapist; she has gone back to school to learn how to work with people dealing with drug addictions. My brother Carmine rose up through the banks in Central Florida before starting his own IT and web design business, then a photography business and now he trains people who do forensic audits of mortgages. My sister Michelle was moving up with the bank where she worked before joining Delta. At Delta, she worked on reservations for the airlines’ elite passengers before starting a business with her husband that is successful in the Boston area. I have pursued a career in journalism and have received awards from the Associated Press Society of Ohio and the Society of Professional journalists for my writing.
These things don’t happen by worrying about failure. Those who live in fear limit themselves in what they will do or accomplish. Thomas Edison said he did not fail, but found out 10,000 ways something would not work.
The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:6-7, NIV).
Do that thing that only you can do. No more excuse.