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Angry Birds and the Albatross
by Tom Goodman
April 18, 2012

Your victories can stall you as quickly as your failures.  Put it all behind you and press on.

We're inspired with the stories of those who overcame initial failures on the road to success.  WD-40 got its name because the first 39 experiments failed.  WD-40 literally stands for "Water Displacement -- 40th Attempt."  Dyson's first 5,126 vacuum cleaners were a bust before his breakthrough.  And Rovio nearly went bankrupt over 51 failed products before developing a little game called Angry Birds.

In a Fast Company piece last week Josh Linkner said of such stories:

In your life, you've probably had a setback or two.  When you stumble, it's tempting to throw in the towel and accept defeat.  There's always an attractive excuse waiting eagerly, hoping you'll take the easy way out.  But the most successful people forge ahead.  They realize that mistakes are simply data, providing new information to adjust your approach going forward.

We need such reminders about failures, but what about victories?  We would think that early wins would propel us forward to success, but Louis Oosthuizen is a caution to that thinking.

The South African was a favorite in last week's Masters, especially after holing his second shot on a par-5.  But he admitted that the thought of that spectacular play dogged him for the rest of the day.  "It was tough after that double-eagle," he told reporters.  "When something like that happens early in your round, you think that this is it."

By the way, in golf a double-eagle is also called an albatross.  Like the Ancient Mariner's albatross around the neck, Oosthuizen's early gain plagued him the rest of his day at Augusta National.  Bubba Watson got the green jacket, and gave all the glory to Jesus.

It seems that our wins as well as our losses have to be put behind us in order to succeed.  This is true in following Christ's Lordship as much as in sports or business.  Admitting he had not yet reached a state of consistent holiness, Paul wrote, "But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV84)

This week, don't let either your defeats or your victories stall you in this beautiful pursuit!  See you Sunday.


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