Content with Failure

 I wasn’t gonna post much about agility on this blog… but I had an interesting 2 or so weeks here and its got some application to life. Don’t quit reading if you aren’t an agility person though. I promise you will get something from it too! 

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure. – Abraham Lincoln

 I guess it all starts last week at Border Collie Nationals. I went with one thing in mind. Have fun and enjoy it ALL. I mean I WANTED some Q’s. I WANTED to do well. More importantly I just wanted to have fun though. It may be because life has been a bit stressful lately. Or it may be because I just am thankful lately for every run I get to have with my dogs. 

 So I did just that. We had fun in EVERY run. While I was a little annoyed with a few things in the runs I never let myself get upset about it. I MOVED ON to the next run. Even when friends after said things like “I’m so sorry, that was kind of messy, huh?”. Yeah, they probably were at times. They were also spectacular though. 

 I am not saying I don’t want to improve. We have plenty of fall plans for that. I just didn’t let the failure get me down

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. – C.S. Lewis

 Maybe it was also the other comments about how good we looked too that made me feel this way. Those comments really do help. Even after your worst run if you had one good spot (and we had many of these!) that no one else got so good and that looked awesome. I encourage you to say it to your fellow competitors. Help them be positive in their failure. In the end its just a game we get to play. We still have to go home and back to life. I would rather go back to life in a good mood than a sour one. When really, there is no reason to be upset. 

 This was a 100% turn around from how I left the BC National last year. We didn’t Q once and I left very upset. I wasn’t happy with much of anything. I failed to see the good. While I enjoyed seeing friends and certain things. It was nothing like the rush I got from this year. It ultimately left me not even wanting to do much agility for a few months (heck, maybe even this whole last year). This year I just want to do MORE. I want to work on our failures and be BETTER. 

 Then yesterday i showed Leap in a local show. I seriously think it was some of the most fun relaxed time at a show I have had with my girl. We were only there for about 3 hours. We didn’t have a Q in either run. I just played with my girl and enjoyed HER pure joy for the game. We played games and I let nothing stress me. Even leading up to the show I just had a sense of “letting go”. Letting it just happen how it should happen. 

There’s a victory in letting go of your expectations. – Mike White

I also for the first time didn’t walk the courses with a thought of what will go wrong but more with a this is how I NEED to handle my dog. This is what works for us. I listened to others walking saying “My dog is gonna go off course there” or “My dog is so not gonna get this”. I walked it with a thought of “If I don’t do this my dog will do that because I didn’t do MY part”. You know what… It worked. I screwed her up a couple times in jumpers. By standard I handled exactly as I should. We had a nearly perfect run. The only problems on her part (popped weaves in jumpers and blown dog walk in standard) are ultimately my training problem too. Which we are setting out to fix. 

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt 


So on your road to success. Be content in your failures. Learn from everything and be joyful in the game. It has taken me over 4 years to fully get to this place. Apply it to all your life. Enjoy everyday no matter the downfalls and bad times. There is always place for improvement but you can’t improve it till you accept that there has been failure.  

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan