Ooops! That was ugly.

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Have you ever just blown it?  I mean really blown it!

I am not talking about a moral failure but a performance collapse.

Side Note: Uuuh… guys… I am not talking about that kind of performance collapse.  Get your mind back in the game where it belongs.

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Sorry ladies, I just had to take a quick side step to do a little man management.  I needed to make sure they didn’t go down a totally different path of thought.

OK, back to the question.  Has there ever been a time that you completely dropped the ball doing something at which you are considered very good?

You know, one of those times you collapsed like a cheap lawn chair.

I saw this happen yesterday.

Twenty-one year old Rory McIlroy was leading the Master’s golf tournament by two strokes at the beginning of the day.  By the time it was over he shot a +8 for the round and dropped to fifteenth in position.

I wasn’t particularly rooting for him to win but I sure didn’t want him to experience humiliation in front of a hundred million people around the world.

Believe it or not this blog is not about Rory and his collapse.

The truth is we all fail at one time or another.  Fortunately my failures are not as public, nor are yours would be my guess.

The fact that we fail is not the heart of the issue.  The bigger question is what we do with the failure.

I contend that more is revealed about the person who dramatically fails than the one in the winner’s circle.

Unfortunately, sometimes a dramatic failure breaks something.  Something is never the same.  A confidence or swagger is lost that is important for sustained success.

Or the failure reinforces something.  A resolve to learn, improve and come out better on the other side.

Rory when interviewed seemed pretty poised and matter of fact about the collapse.  He sounded mature and appeared to see his set-back in context of the big picture.

I hope so, but only time will tell.

This may sound odd but failure has a powerful presence in success.

Failure is the flame that tempers the steel.  The painful trauma displaces the rigidity and the character of the element is that of flexible strength.

Doesn’t that ring so true in life?

It seems that the people who have weathered the greatest storms possess a quiet strength that transcends the moment.  There is a secure knowledge and confidence that “this too will pass” and good will come from it.

How do you handle failure?  I am not trying to pry… just asking.  I have to ask the same question of myself.

It’s ironically funny in that we spend our entire lives trying to avoid failure, yet it is failure that lays the foundation for success.

See you Thursday.

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