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Just because you fail doesn't make you a failure

I just returned home from attending service at Destiny Church in Broken Arrow, Okla. During service, a video was shown of an interview with Noble Doss, a legendary receiver for the University of Texas in the early 1940s who went on to win a world championship with the Philadelphia Eagles. You can watch the video by clicking on the link below.

click here to watch the video

I'll have to admit this morning was the first time I had heard of Noble Doss, even though he is remembered for one of the greatest catches in Texas football history (growing up in Oklahoma, we don't hear too many tales of great Longhorn receivers). Yet it's a dropped pass that he remembers, and it's that one dropped pass against Baylor that haunts him. He states in the video that he thinks about that play every day ... and that one play happened more than 60 years ago.

When I watched the video this morning, it truly broke my heart. A man who has accomplished so much still battles the demons of one play. You can see the pain in his eyes when he talks about the what ifs. What if he had caught the pass? What if he had scored the touchdown? What if ... ?

We all have those what ifs in our life, and we all have moments that we look back upon and wish we could do over. Sometimes, those moments overshadow so much of the good in our lives and in our past. My pastor said it best this morning when he said, "Just because you fail doesn't make you a failure."

There's no doubt that Mr. Doss is not a failure because of a failed catch. There's also no doubt that when you make a mistake, it doesn't make you a failure. There will be angry patients. There will be problems in the office. There will be disagreements among team members. However, those small failures can't be used as a measuring stick in your practice and/or in your life.

Don't let the problems of the past affect your present and future. Today, resolve to remember the great catches you've made rather than the dropped passes.

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Comment by Mary Jane RDH BS on January 23, 2010 at 3:43pm
The two of you have expressed it beautifully. As a hygienist, I know I am better than I was in my first few years. I had to stumble, get up and carry on. We don't realize we are doing it but we are every day. We might not make earth shattering or record making discoveries, but we are doing it. I keep thinking about Mr. Doss. What other plays were in that game? Did anybody else make any errors? We need to focus on the good and try to improve if we can on what doesn't.
Comment by Kevin Henry on January 23, 2010 at 3:14pm
Absolutely not. Edison and Lincoln join so many of our other national (and for that matter, world icons) as people who didn't succeed their first time around. It's a matter of accepting momentary defeat, not succumbing to it.
Comment by Yin Chew on January 23, 2010 at 2:28pm
Would these people be considered failures? Thomas Eddison ( his story of how he 'failed' so many times in his scientific researches) and Abraham Lincoln ( bankrupted at least 2 times, lost a few senate races before he become the President.)
Comment by Mary Jane RDH BS on January 19, 2010 at 5:53am
How about "when one door closes, another one opens". That does happen a lot and many times for the better. Sometimes it is so hard to focus on the positive..
Comment by Mary Jane RDH BS on January 18, 2010 at 5:22am
When I rode on Friday, there is a delightful young man who has Down's Syndrome who helps in the Barn. As I did my figures, and spirals and patterns, working out my frustrations of the week, he looked at me with such wisdom and said "Let it go, Mary Jane." We would all be a little healthier in mind and body if we took Craig's advice; I know I would be.
Comment by Kevin Henry on January 17, 2010 at 3:56pm
Thanks for the comments. My dad and I talked about Mr. Doss at lunch, and he remembers hearing about him much more for the catch against Texas A&M than the drop against Baylor. Dad said this sounds much like Bill Buckner, the baseball player who has such great numbers but will always be remembered for what seemed like a routine grounder against the Mets.
Comment by Mary Jane RDH BS on January 17, 2010 at 1:00pm
One cannot go into another person's mind when it comes to what they receive as failure or success. I couldn't watch the U-tube after I saw the pain in that man's eye's. It is a game after all..my father would have understood better than I can. But I do know enough that what we see as success in others often does not make them fulfilled or happy.
Comment by Warren on January 17, 2010 at 11:33am
Thankyou for sharing Kevin
I believe failures are just necessary steps to becoming a better. Many successful people have 'failed' more times than they have succeeded. The people who seem to go on to excel don't think see these set backs as failures, they see them as necessary steps to educating themselves how to do it better next time.
Smile!
Warren B
The Everything Dental Guy
Success in Dentistry and Life!

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