success and failure

5 Ways Dads Can Turn Chronic Failure Into Success

Frank was not the first pick for the high school golf team, but he hung around on reserve hoping to get a chance to play one day. His moment finally came when the team captain inserted him in a throwaway contest that probably wouldn’t count. The 17-year-old found himself on the 18th green staring down the barrel of a 25-foot double-breaking putt that would decide everything. Frank steadied himself, held his breath, and stroked the putt. The ball rolled, turned right at the very last moment, and dropped in the middle of the hole. The crowd exploded and, for that moment, Frank was the hero he dreamed of becoming.

Life is hard and it leaves many dads feeling like they have failed. Sometimes it seems we just can’t get anything right. Frank’s perseverance to hang tough when nothing was going his way led to the moment when it all turned around. “Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts,” said Winston Churchill to a nation battered and broken in WWII. Don’t be discouraged. The difference between success and failure may come down to a couple of simple habits. Here are 5 ways dads can turn chronic failure into success.

1. You’re not alone. (Parenting is a team sport.)

Successful parenting is about teamwork. If you’re married, make sure you and your wife are on the same page and working in concert together. If you’re a single dad, be part of a support group that meets weekly and is willing to “do life” together.

2. Be an encourager.

Negativity is a vortex that always moves in a downward spiral.

A teacher we know has a sign on the wall: “Research says it takes seven positives to counteract one negative—I say why risk it.” In other words, focus on what’s right more than what’s wrong. Negativity is a vortex that always moves in a downward spiral. Believe us, you will find a lot of hope when you look for it.

3. KISS (Keep it simple, sir).

OK, we admit to changing that last word to “sir.” But, seriously, we’re not calling anyone stupid around here because no one is. One dad said, “Don’t try to fix everything in one day. Have four or five key rules, work for mastery, and move on from there.”

4. Don’t beat yourself up.

Be positive and be confident. Being an encourager includes encouraging yourself. Do the best you can in this moment. Pull together all the resources you have, pray, and then move on to the next moment.

5. Be grateful.

Wake up every morning and say this prayer: “God, thank you for the gift of my children. Thank you for life. I am grateful for this opportunity to help my kids grow. Please give me peace and strength. Amen.”

Sound off: What habit do you think you need to work on in order to be successful?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “When have you overcome something difficult?” If they can’t think of a time, tell your own story.