I’m rereading Wrestling Tough (great book) and the story of Kyle Maynard (pictured left) hit me again, like it does every time I read it.
Kyle was born with severely underdeveloped arms and legs. So everything that comes easy to most people, Kyle had to figure out how to do in a completely different way. Wrestling was just one of the examples of that. His senior year in high school he finished the season with a 35-16 record. To me, this makes him one of the most incredible wrestlers in the history of the sport.
His description of what he took from wrestling is one of the great lessons of how progress is made through rigorous honest analysis of failure:
“Wrestling, as far as character goes, is foundational for any human being. You have to learn failure on a basis where you can only blame yourself. It makes the rest of your life a lot easier.”
In my eyes, focusing on failure in a quiet analytical way is the approach that works best for me. Of course, you also have to honor your successes. They provide the confidence needed to carry you through the plateaus and long stretches of hard work that don’t bring immediate positive results.