Embracing Failure to Find Success

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readFeb 27, 2019

Losing to Win Like Michael Jordan (The Secondhand Inspiration Project)

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

Failure is something you accomplish; it doesn’t just happen to you.

Ask people why they’ve thrived, and their answers will be littered with boasts and personal pronouns: I, me, and maybe an occasional we. But ask why they failed, and most retreat to childhood and distance themselves from their screw-ups. They’ll claim it was due to someone or something else that was completely out of their control. They’ll spin it so they’re the victim. The economy tanked. The world wasn’t ready for my creative vision. Wrong time, wrong place.

By distancing themselves, they don’t learn from their letdowns.

People focus so much on winning that they forget failing is part of growth. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s true. Anyone who has achieved greatness, anyone who has transformed the world has, at some point, decided to accept disappointment…



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com