“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,
I read this quote tonight, while browsing a blog post with 20 inspirational quotes and accompanying pictures, in themselves, very moving. A family member in the service is weighing the possibility that he may be discharged for not maintaining the demanding physical standards of that service. (Even athletes get runners knee and shin splints.)
It is news that I know all too well. As a younger man than he is now, I also faced the same exhausting bureaucracy of my service branch, weighing whether or not I would be medically discharged a couple years into my enlistment. “Hurry up and wait”, is the operational tempo of everything non-combat-related in the military. But a determined mind, sharpened by knowledge of your adversary, bureaucracy, and equipped to respectfully and yet, unyieldingly, play ball is honored whether it leads to a win or loss.
Michael Jordan is a legend in the sports world for work ethic and results. To win a lot, you risk a lot and lose a lot. But every failure is a lesson in NEVER QUIT. An opportunity to learn and improve. I am glad that my wife and kids never quit under adversity. When I was young I was tempted several times. Bouts of self-pity a few times. Illegitimi Non Carborundum was my dad’s advice to me. I finished my race by completing a career and retiring as a Navy Senior Chief. So my son, whether you serve 20 years or 6 more months, I will not be prouder of you for never saying “I quit”. You will always be ARMY STRONG to me.