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Definition of Failure

Updated on December 22, 2012

WHAT DOES WEBSTER HAVE TO SAY?

From Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary we are told that failure is….”a lack of success, or a falling short.”

Well, that certainly seems a bit demoralizing and negative, doesn’t it? And that, unfortunately, is how many people view failure. Now consider these thoughts on the subject of failure.

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
Abraham Lincoln

Or how about this one:

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
George Edward Woodberry

A sport that taught me valuable lessons.
A sport that taught me valuable lessons. | Source

VALUABLE LESSONS FROM BASEBALL

It should come as no surprise to any of you who have followed me that I love baseball. My earliest memories are of a little five year old in Tacoma, Washington, waddling around the house with his baseball glove and ball. For as long as I can remember I have loved the game, and some of my most important lessons have come from baseball.

I was determined to be the best pitcher in baseball. I was going to learn from the greats of that time, like Bob Gibson and the Sandy Koufax, and I would mow down the opposition on my way to fame and fortune. I was also determined to be accepted by my peers, not a small goal since I was scrawny and shy, and not accepted by the jocks in my peer group.

I watched the “Saturday Game of the Week” and concentrated on what each pitcher was doing. I heard words like “paint the black” and I heard that pitchers did not have to be huge and throw 100 mph; they simply needed to have the ability to place the ball at a pre-determined spot. A properly placed pitch, knee-high on the outside corner of the plate, was as effective as a curve ball that would break two feet.

My goal determined, I set about learning that skill. I painted a strike zone on a cement wall, walked off sixty feet, and then threw hundreds of pitches at spots in the strike zone. I did that day after day, month after month, until my muscle control and mental signals combined and I was able to throw a baseball precisely where I wanted to throw it.

Did I fail? Oh my goodness yes! One of my first high school games I faced a kid from Mt. Tahoma High School. His name was Ron Cey, and ten years later he would be known as “The Penguin” in the Major Leagues. That first time that I faced him, I snuck two fastballs by him. On the third pitch, he hit a line-drive that barely cleared my glove as I reached above my head. That line drive just kept rising and finally came to earth 420 feet from home plate. A three-run homer that taught me much about humility, and also sent me back to that cement wall to work on my delivery.

Playing sports is a wonderful lesson in failure. The best hitter in Major League baseball history failed six times out of every ten times to the plate, and he made the Hall of Fame!

Teaching provides great lessons about failure.
Teaching provides great lessons about failure. | Source

OBSERVATIONS FROM TEACHING

This is a true story; there is no way I could make this up.

I had a student once who received an “A” from me on a difficult assignment. It was a well-deserved grade because it was obvious that she had spent many hours doing it, going above and beyond what was expected.

A couple days later I got a call from her mother who requested a conference regarding that assignment. After we had sat down, the mother explained that she believed her daughter deserved an “A+”, and that anything less than an “A+” would be a failure for her daughter. Never mind that our school did not even have A+ in the grading system; this mother was adamant that I change the grade.

I refused to do so, and then felt compelled to caution her about the message she was sending to her daughter.

It has been twenty years since that incident and I still think of it often.

I have had countless students who, upon receiving a poor grade, gave up trying, and of course I have had countless students who constantly believed that they did not deserve to fail, that they had done everything in their power to do well, and it wasn’t fair that they were being singled out.

I will tell all of you the same thing I told my students: we all fail! Now what are we going to do about it?

Do you learn from failure?

See results

REALITY CAN BE A BITTER PILL

I never made it to the Major Leagues. My shoulder gave out my junior year in college and that was the end of my baseball dream. Hundreds of hours of throwing that baseball against the cement wall were all for naught.

Did I fail?

Some would say yes, and I respect their opinion. However, that 5’10” kid who weighed 145 lbs. played four years of high school baseball and almost three years of college ball. Do you know what percentage of high school athletes go on to play college ball in an NCAA school? In baseball it is 6.1%! So in 1966 I was among that 6.1% that competed at a major college level.

Did I fail?

An interesting question for sure. Along the way there were many individual “failures.” Every single time an opposing batter got a hit against me I failed. Every single time I walked an opposing batter I failed. In not making it to the pros I failed……but…..for me, true failure would have been in not trying!

With every hit by an opposing player I learned. With every walk given up I learned, and yes, when my shoulder could no longer throw a baseball, I learned.

And that is what life is about!


Chat with me awhile

THERE IS NO SHAME IN FAILURE

Let’s stay with the baseball analogy for awhile longer. Let us say that I played in, conservatively, 100 games during my career. If I averaged five innings of pitching per game, that is 500 innings, and at three outs per inning that means I recorded 1,500 outs during my time on the mound.

1,500 times I was successful! I can live with that!

It really comes down to one’s point of view. If lack of success is viewed as failure, then let’s face it, we are all failures in life.

If, however, lack of success is considered a learning tool, then there are no failures.

Show me a person who gets knocked down and keeps getting back up, and I’ll show you a person I want as my companion in life. Show me a person who doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit, and I’ll go into battle with that person every single day.

In every aspect of life, there is a positive spin and a negative spin, and each person determines what that spin will be. I have known many who viewed themselves as failures from the moment they rose from bed in the morning to the moment they returned to that bed at night, and it is a sad sight to see.

I like to hang with the winners, and a winner, to me, is one who does not give up; despite the adversity, and despite the setbacks. They square their shoulders and keep moving forward in life, and every obstacle is viewed as an opportunity.

Life is too short to wallow in a cesspool of self-fabricated defeat. Man was created to soar with the angels; we were not created to slither beneath the rocks of shame, self-loathing and defeat.

Which one are you? If you are the former, then polish those wings and find new heights. If you are the latter, then pick up that damn baseball and keep throwing it against the wall until throwing strikes becomes a habit for life.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Exactly that one should not give up on achieving goals, life is challenging, the more you try, the better your achievements will be. Itis easier to fail than to succeed. Thanks for sharing such an uplifting Hub

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Here is a fun one Bill. Sometimes I am on a "winning" streak and I still get all freaked out about failure. Fear of failure is crippling for sure. Thanks for a great hub.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Good one! I have failed to acomplish many things in my lifetime but I saw those failings as new doors opening or, as an opportunity to do something different. No matter how bad it hurt at the time, I always ended up in a better place doing something more important. It's all in attitude and me and you - we've got plenty of that. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I understand that kind of thinking and have done it myself at times...it's like things are going too well and I expect them to crash soon, and that frightens me. LOL We are complicated creatures for sure.

      Thank you sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, your statement that "it is easier to fail than to succeed" is quite profound. Thank you for that great comment.

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      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      As they always say, we have to fail in order to move on. I met countless pushy parents in Singapore who send the message to the children that failing is NOT ok, that they'll be looked down upon if they fail. Sadly, this is true because many a time it is the parents themselves who look down on their kids and are angry that they cannot live up to their expectations rather than society itself (at the most, a boss just doesn't hire you.)

      A good take on failure, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, we are overflowing in attitude. LOL Some people might have a problem with that; all I know is I'm happy, so there you go! have a great day my friend; we are going to The Nutcracker this afternoon and we are going to have a fantastic day. :) I wish you the same.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I find that so sad, that a parent would think that about a child. Children need to fail, and learn that it is alright and natural. There is no guilt in failing; only in not trying.

      Thank you and Merry Christmas to you.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      This hub was perfect for me. I am one of those people who will try every angle to succeed at whatever I want to succeed at. (ending a sentence badly here)...As I mentioned several times--two books one failure and one success. The failure one was the second book and a costly experience...However I found other places to write.

      When a recipe fails..I always laugh...Sometimes in life things just don't go as planned...So there is a popular singer and tremendous success but personal life a mess. Who can judge what is failure and success. You are a success because you overcame failures and figured out what works as a success in your life. Lots of rambling today...

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 4 years ago from USA

      Hey Billy,

      I heard a story once of an eagle that was raised with chickens and one day another eagle saw him and pointed out that he was a mighty eagle in reality- that he could Fly..how great it is you point out that we as human beings are just human, and granted must and will make mistakes as part of life- but we can Soar! Yes we can...

      I thank you for your positivity. Admiring one who can keep getting up is nice...because I have been!!!! And it's not easy right?! Well....it can be done. And hopefully we do learn from our experiences ..and we will be better for it- not to mention how it builds CHARACTER.

      That's another reason Why I LOVE older people! They're so smart!

      have a great day =)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I love rambling. Feel free to do as much as you like. :) I don't even think in terms of failure anymore; every single opportunity is exactly that....an opportunity. Thank you as always and have a great Saturday.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose....smart??? Maybe a little wise from experience, and a bit more aware. I don't know that I ever considered myself smart. Things have come too hard for me; I don't seem to learn unless there is pain involved in the lesson. LOL Hopefully I won't have to learn that way much longer.

      Thank you my eagle friend; keep soaring!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I love that baseball story!

      I taught third grade at a private school for one year. For me, the worst part of teaching was the parents. I mean, your eight-year-old kid gets a C on quiz and you come to me with steam blowing out of your ears? Really? No wonder your child is neurotic. Once, I assigned a book report where they were to draw pictures and write a paragraph about the book. This one kid who had terrible issues with self-confidence turned his in with a drawing that was obviously done by an adult. I confronted her about it and she told me that he would have "made a mess of it". Seriously? We're trying to inspire a love for books, not find the next Renoir. ANYWAY . . .

      The trials and tribulations of a teacher . . . amIright? Good for you for sticking with it.

      Thanks for another inspirational post! Oh, and thanks for sending that wind down here . . . my beautiful poinsettia is now a stump in a flowerpot. FAIL

      lol

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      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Finally here and could so relate with so much of this and have never given up. I was taught early on that when life throws you lemons , you make lemonade. So, that is truly how I live my life and just keep on keeping on!! You are so right though Bill and thank you for putting this wonderful message out to all on here!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, it is no secret that one of the main reasons I am not teaching any longer is because I was tired of fighting parents. It was no longer worth it to me, and the aggravation had finally outweighed the joy. It was time to leave.

      Hey, if we can't share our weather during the season of giving, when can we share it. LOL Seriously, don't thank you; we were more than happy to send it your way.

      Have a great day, and thank you!

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      LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Lots of great advice here Bill! I try to tell my students this same sort of thing...some get it some don't...most students understand it before there parents do...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I'm just fed up with whining and defeatist attitudes. For God's sake, get up off the floor and do something to make your life better (not you personally :) Thank you my friend; I hope your Saturday is at least bearable.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Teacher, I understand that completely...the parents seem to be the hardest to teach. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas to you!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 4 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      Failure is not in my vocabulary when I think of “Bill the Teacher” and “Bill the Writer.” You are a winner on HP and FB and with all your fans.

      PTO (Parents Teacher Organization) should be a place where parents learn about the grading system for their children’s school. However, my mother did not like anything lower than an “A” when I was in school. When my younger sister started school she was happy with B’s and C’s. (She mellowed which was a blessing too.)

      Merry Christmas,

      Bobbi

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      Billy, thank you for this awesome hub. You know, I strongly believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason. It's not a coincidence that we came across each other here on hubpages, so will you please be my mentor? lol. I already consider you one. You're already giving back to this community by sharing your wealth, knowledge and experience. I hope that you never leave hubpages. I consider myself a winner. I have faced many challenges in my career and have never given up. Sometimes I doubt myself and I allow fear of failure to get the best of me, but I pick myself off, dust myself off and start all over again. Can you believe that I worked for an employer who laid me off because she said that I was too driven? Unbelievable! She said that she needed a more laid- back person to work at her office, yeah, maybe because I got things done quickly. The day before her husband, who I used to work for told me how I would be an asset in the company because of my work ethics and personality. sorry for the ramble.

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      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Awesome message Bill. as has been said, if we look at these instances as a lesson or a new door opening, we can move ahead with a positive outlook!

      Mark

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      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      Not surprising that I love your definition of failure...as it perfectly mirrors your positive life philosophy.

      In reading lovedoctor's comment, I am reminded of when I was "written up" for rolling my eyes at my boss who walked into a community office where I was the only one working...everyone else was loudly BSing. Needless to say, that was my first and last reprimand as I quit on the spot. I now proudly encourage my students to roll their eyes whenever the need arises! And I am very proud of my write up...it proved that some people are impressed with own title, and just plain silly.

      Now I have rambled...you need to open an office, sir! UP and UABI.

      Love Blondey's response to this as well. Hugs, Maria

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      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      Great hub Bill..I think that success, like failure, is all about perception and expectation, and how we measure our success, or lack of it, from those perceptions and expectations. I think that more often than not the perceptions are communicated to us by our peers, and because they are our peers, it is human nature to attribute a considerable amount of objectivity to their perceptions. But I think the reality is that success or failure can only ever be subjective. For example, if a clear favourite to win an Olympic Gold ends up with second place, and Silver, both the athlete and the public may perceive this as failure, but this is only a perception as it is being measured in a certain way i.e. by expectation. Had they not been built up to be favourite, perhaps lucky to win a medal at all, expectation is lowered and Silver would have been perceived as a resounding success.

      This was a really interesting hub Bill, thank you. All the votes..except funny of course:-))

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, I was like your sister....I was perfectly happy with B's and C's, must to the chagrin of my father. School simply did not interest me; amazing that I became a teacher with that attitude. LOL

      Thank you and Merry Christmas, Bobbi!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, you can ramble any old time on my site. I love your observations and the fact that you take the time to leave a meaningful comment. Too driven? I guess it's possible, but it seems a rather bizarre reason for laying someone off at a job. Oh well, their loss.

      As for being your mentor...:) I receive as much as I get on this site, and I have no desire to leave HP.

      Merry Christmas my friend, and thank you for everything.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, it's a tough lesson for many to learn, but you are oh so right!

      Sending blessings to you, buddy, and Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dear Maria!

      I'm laughing because of the eye rolling thing. I can't count the number of times I did that during faculty meetings. The nonsense of it all; the covering of asses instead of finding a better way of reaching the students. I do not suffer fools well. :)

      Thank you my dear and Merry Christmas to you!

      hugs and love,

      bill

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      "Failure is not an option," because options are choices! No one chooses to fail, but hey, it happens and it's even necessary sometimes.....Like you remind us....It's what we learn, how we change, repair and go on!! UP++

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      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      A beuatiful and inspiring story Bill! Where is that "inpsirational" button I keep looking for? This is way beyond useful and would help many of us at various times in our lives. Up and lots more!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hey, If we won everytime, life would be so dull. If we try and fail, at least we tried. I love to bowl, my team was second in the tournament, i was the last bowler and i needed a strike to win, i got nine pins and failed to spare. You win some and you lose some. The thing is to keep trying..Loved this. Thank you Bill.

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      MKayo 4 years ago from Texas

      Great article! I especially enjoyed your story about Ron Cey - got 2 past him, huh? Also love that quote from Lincoln. Enjoyable read - voted up!

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      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      The proof is in the pudding, Bill. You proved it to me with your last few lines more than anything else. You refuse to give up on even the person that has hit rock bottom and given up on himself with "pick up that damn baseball and keep throwing it against the wall until throwing strikes becomes a habit for life." That's beautiful and truly describes hope in the human spirit. Merry Christmas, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      xstatic, thank you my friend! Have a very Merry Christmas down in Oregon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I knew I liked you for a reason......I bowled league for decades, and love it. Yes, it would be boring to never fail.....it is so much more rewarding to overcome failure the next time.

      Thank you Ruby!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MK, yes, two past him.....not three though. LOL Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Amy! I'm living proof that we can overcome tall odds.....of course, I can be pretty stubborn. :) Merry Christmas my dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Paula! I've had more than enough practice repairing and moving on. Hopefully I can stay on this smooth road I have been on for the past six years. :) Thank you Paula and Merry Christmas!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I relate, Bill, cause my middle name is "stubborn." Have a merry one, yourself, my friend.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      I once officiated a funeral for a man who, though my masonic Lodge search for 10 days, appeared to had done nothing. Sure he came to Lodge, and he was a nice guy, but he didn't even have a family. We paid for his funeral and had a "friendship party" in his honor.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      As you must know, I get it. I am right here with you and your take on failure, Bill. Failure is only failure if we give up and give in. It is only failure if we allow it to be. Like you I have experienced things where I was not successful and at the time I imagine I did not feel like it was such a good thing but in hindsight I know that whenever that happened it made me work that much harder to accomplish what came next. Thank you for sharing this with us because we all need to be reminded to keep on keeping on and to let our plus side prevail.

      Sending more Angels and wishes for a merry Christmas eve's eve...:) ps

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks for the pep talk, Bill. I've been in a funk since an incident at work and needed this wake up call. You've made me realise that staying in a job where I am overworked and undervalued for the sake of an ever shrinking paycheque instead of taking a chance on finding something better would be the real failure.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and thanks again.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, this is wonderfully motivating, something we all need now and again. If we never know failure, we can never truly appreciate the ecstasy of triumphant and success. Great write and message.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      If at first you don't succeed...when I was in high school I thought I had the greatest voice. One day at tryouts a new girl showed up and had the voice of an opera singer. I was crushed. I couldn't compete with her. My wise teacher (a nun) said we both had our own talent. That my voice was beautiful in a different way but still beautiful. I could live with that plus it taught me a lesson, we all have our own talents and failure is not one of them!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      It can be so incredibly challenging to see your "failures" as opportunities for change, but readjusting your world view to allow such sight is life changing. I admit that I still find myself in those wallowing, why-me moods at times, but more often than not, every awful thing that happens to me was just what I needed to take a better path. Thanks for the inspiration this morning! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Valley, i agree completely, and it's really about changing our own perspective on a daily basis. Too many people measure themselves by what they have not accomplished rather than by what they have accomplished. That makes a huge difference.

      Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas to you.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, you, stubborn? How about driven? Focused? LOL Thank you my dear!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I love that! Thanks for sharing that, and Merry Christmas to you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, it's interesting, isn't it? Some people cannot see things that way. They "fail" at something and then consider themselves "failures" and give up trying. It's sad, really, and I'd love to be able to grab them by the shoulders and shake sense into them.

      Thank you for the angels; in my book, you are an angel yourself.

      Merry Christmas dear lady!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, hooray for you! The more I hear from you the more I like you. Of course I agree; I'm all for career changes if they allow us to grow and find happiness and contentment. Best of luck to you my friend and of course, thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you described it perfectly! The joy of succeeding is well worth the setbacks on the way to that success. Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, i love that last statement of yours...failure is not one of our talents. That is a great line; wish I would have thought of it. LOL Thank you my friend and Merry Christmas to you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rm, thank you very much! Who among us has not had a "why me" mood? The question is what are we going to do about it? I have faith in you my friend; you will succeed! Heck, you already have!

      Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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      Rachael Cleveland 4 years ago from Woodbridge, VA

      Aw, thank you! And to you as well! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rm....:)

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      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Dear Billy-I choose to soar with the angels-I learned early on that there is no such thing as failure if you re-frame obstacles in life-Life is a series of teachable moments and opportunities for growth-

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year dear friend

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I liked this one a lot, Billy. Not being a computer person AT ALL, I set about learning how to build a website, of all things. I really wanted to get in on the internet action. It was scary, and I failed so many times. Several times I just wanted to chuck the whole thing, but I had invested my time and realized that I had learned so much along the way. Each failure presented another learning opportunity. Someone once said 'you don't learn from succeeding, you learn from failing to succeed'. I have come to believe that is so true.

      My website is a-less-than-stellar success, but no one can take away the knowledge I have accumulated in the process! Additionally, I continue to learn as I strive for success; and that is its own reward.

      Voted Up across the board my friend! Happy Holidays to you and Bev! Pearl

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well, and thank you for a year of friendship.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, I love that! There is no way I would take on that challenge, and hooray for you doing it. Of course, many have said there is no way they would attempt to write a novel like I did....we all take on challenges and yes, we fail, but we also learn with each stumble, and those lessons are invaluable.

      Thank you my dear friend! Happy Holidays to you!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I don't believe we fail, I believe we fail to try and try harder. You only fail when you have exhausted all of your options. If you try, like the little engine that could, you will succeed eventually!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, we are in complete agreement. Thank you my dear! Sending you hugs and love.

      bill

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      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Hello Bill.. Happy New Year my friend.. another great hub. My motto is try and try again.. I have to admit I have had a lot failures but I was taught do not give up... what a great story.

      I would have loved to see you with your baseball glove and hat and pitching that ball..

      God Bless you with all these excellent hubs.. You never give up

      Merry Christmas

      Debbie

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, I don't have an ounce of "give up" in me, and for that I am grateful.

      Bless you my dear friend; thank you for your friendship this past year.

      bill

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      Karen Szklany Gault 4 years ago from New England

      Great message, Billy. It is so important to keep an open mind and persevere despite setbacks. My mother considers me a failure as a teacher because I was let go from a teaching job, just because the principal did not like me. It was political, but it hurt my career. Other teachers who are liked were given more care, mentoring, and second chances. I did not. But that's okay. I learned from it...and turned that experience into my determination to home-school my daughter.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, I like your attitude. You are a teacher and as such you are never a failure. Keep holding your head high, and provide the best education possible for your daughter. Merry Christmas and thank you!

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I think that we all have to fail in order to find those things that make us shine. Personally, I think we put to much of an emphasis on winning, getting ahead and succeeding. Sometimes, things are just average and that's ok.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, there have been many times when I was quite happy with average. :) Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      This Spring I will attempt to square my shoulders and combat the hang-gliding!

      Very inspirational.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Beckie! Merry Christmas to you and I look forward to seeing pictures of you hang-gliding.

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      Karen Szklany Gault 4 years ago from New England

      Oooh...hang-gliding. I'd love to try that some day...part of facing my fear of heights.

      Merry Christmas Billybuc, and the rest of you hubbers out there!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Seafarer; the same to you!

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      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      I really enjoyed reading your true story about playing baseball. People are afraid of failure, but should never give up and should keep trying to succeed. My oldest brother played on a little league team many years ago. The family use to go to the ball park and watch him. Great hub!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail, I learned so much from playing baseball. Lessons that have served me well for decades. Thank you for the visit on Christmas Day, and Merry Christmas to you in Iowa.

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      Gail Louise Stevenson 4 years ago from Mason City

      Your welcome. Merry Christmas to you in WA.

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      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting thoughts here. I have failed at many things in my life time. I spend the majority of my 20's trying to become a real poet (before the internet was readily available). I read, wrote, typed on the typewriter, sat in seminars with experts, learned the craft. It was a maddening process. I was never a major success and could wall paper a large room with the rejection letters I have saved. I can't look back on those years as failure. Because of my passion, I did inspire others to learn and write poetry. Today, my baby brother is a distinguished published poet who rubs elbows with some of literature's bests. One of my son's is a lyricist for a band recently featured in Guitar World. Even if we are not meant to achieve every dream, we may exist with our passions to be the catalyst for others in our lives to have theirs. This is very, very inspiring.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, that's amazing about you studying to be a poet....I'm sorry it didn't work out. I love your attitude about being a catalyst for others...Hear Hear to that my friend! You were a huge catalyst for me here on HubPages!

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      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Life the great Teacher included with mistakes, regrets, and failing. Jesus the Teacher of Love shows us how to cope with all the negatives and turn it around to make living to learn a positive mix and way to follow. I share in your thoughts - good Hub - useful and interesting. Thanks.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, you stated it perfectly. We are human and as such we will make mistakes. I'd like to see people a little less stringent in their expectations....learn to kick back and accept our humanness. :)

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Me too Deb and Bill. By golly most people are trying hard. They should appreciate themselves more, I do. (them I mean ;-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I do too, Eric...them I mean. :)

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