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Don't fear failure

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- Some of the people I admire the most are the ones who have the ability to keep moving ahead despite setbacks in their lives. 

I believe if you live long enough you will see challenges along the way; and if you don't believe me, just keep on living. But my question is: "Do you let your setbacks stop you, or do you keep pressing toward excellence?" 

This question is typically answered by how each person views failure. Some look at failure as the end of a quest, or validation that their efforts were in vain. If this is your outlook, then there is a chance you will never reach your full potential. Yet others view failure as opportunities to learn and improve for the next attempt at a particular goal. I've heard the term to "fail forward," and it captures the mindset to retool and refocus while viewing setbacks as setups for your comeback. 

If you talk to any inventor, great athlete, leader of industry or military tactician, there will be a common chord. I believe they will all say their successes were built on the lessons learned through their failures or others they have witnessed. The key is understanding that learning is a continuum and not a destination, so with that in mind, never forget there will be a few potholes along the way. 

Imagine if the first time your child took a step and you saw them fall you never let them attempt to walk again. Well, as ridiculous as that sounds, there are many who stopped chasing their dreams due to a small stumble along the way. Each of us have a chance to help encourage and develop those around us. So let's continue to push each other to explore new things with the understanding that failure is just a learning opportunity... and we're all learning. 

Remember, failure only turns into defeat when you quit, and we're not quitters. We're Americans; not Americants. 

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