It’s easy to look at people, especially outwardly successful people, and see only the good, the shiny, and the moments of triumph. In a world of social media where only the best highlights are shared, an unfair and instantaneous comparison takes place…and you are somehow less.

To help balance the Facebook accounts today, here are some of my own failures and losses.

-I failed math in 12th grade, for two successive semesters.

-Days away from military promotion, I drank alcohol underage, and lost all my stripes.

-I failed two CLEP exams (college equivalency).

-I was nominated for Airman of the Quarter and lost at the squadron level.

-I was nominated for NCO of the Year for the MAJCOM, flew to Germany, and lost in front of my family and supervisors. This would happen again and again over the years.

-I wrecked my Dad’s car in 11th grade. And then told him I’d borrowed it.

-I totaled my next car (Dad knew I was driving it then) two weeks after buying it. Fell asleep at the wheel.

-When I came into the military, I asked my recruiter what job I could choose. He said “Choose? You’re just lucky to be here.” He was right.

The list goes on and on. I’ve lost, failed, squandered opportunity, and been knocked down many times. And it’ll continue to happen in the future.

But I will stand back up.

And you will too.


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