Fail Forward Towards Success

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readMay 1, 2019

Keep Swinging for the Fences with Babe Ruth (The Secondhand Inspiration Project)

Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

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

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” ― Babe Ruth

Like most people, I love talking about my successes. But I also confess that failure has been my most effective teacher. Whenever I think that I know everything, I somehow discover new, unglamorous ways to fail. Because of failure, I continue learning, evolving, and persevering.

When coping with defeat, the outlook is everything. We can allow our missteps to be an event that has happened, but we can’t accept them as part of our identity. When we label ourselves as failures, we begin to feel, think, and act like failures. But if we’re still trying and haven’t quit, we haven’t failed. We fail only when we choose to pin that label on ourselves.

Whenever we feel we’ve failed, remember that we’re cultivating toughness and building firepower to succeed in the next challenge. Every time we fail better than the previous iteration, we build a more secure foundation. It’s like building muscle — each tear will make us stronger over time.

Here are some ways embracing failure can work to our advantage:

1. We learn our best lessons by experiencing setbacks. Screwups are a chance to gather valuable intel. Failure is a reconnaissance mission necessary to annex success away from competitors. It’s a strategic way to collect and apply tactical data and methods we can use along the path to more fruitful endeavors.

2. Failure can motivate. If we view it in the proper lens and don’t allow it to cloud our vision, failure can provide an amazing source of inspiration and amplify willpower.

3. Failure teaches humility. Sometimes we need to feel the sting of a letdown. We need to know the propaganda manufactured by our egos might not be true. After losing, we feel humble and recognize that we are vulnerable.

4. Failure can embolden us and prompt us to take more risks. Once we come to terms with having bombed and survived, we aren’t as afraid of hitting rock bottom again. We’re willing to take bigger chances…



Adrian S. Potter

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