Failure is Good

Rookie Firefighter looking out over the s climb up 100 ft ladder

Failure can be “Good”

Good morning from the Jumpseat, well not really anymore, but it sounds good. Good morning from the training office is the new location where the Jumpseat Training Blog will be coming from.  Transitioning from a jumpseat riding firefighter into a full-time educator has been a challenging task.  Challenging, but not impossible! 

Along the way, there have been setbacks, failures, successes, and triumphant victories. What separates a failure from a triumphant victory? Perseverance! When someone isn’t successful in accomplishing a goal there is only one thing left to do, work harder.

Three years ago I found myself in the exact situation following a failed attempted at a promotional exam. Three plus months of studying and time away from every one ended with a failing grade. For someone who dont take failure well, this was a crushing blow! Not only was there the constant beating I gave myself, there were the constant friendly reminders from my peers inside the firehouse. Some had good intentions and some had bad intentions with their comments.

Fast forward 3 years and it was time to start the process again. Instantly my thoughts went back to the previous failure. The what-ifs start dancing around in my head. There is nothing stronger than self-doubt PERIOD.

Near the beginning of the process, I came across a new podcast from a retired Navy Seal. The Jocko Podcast is a gritty, nonsense podcast about life, teamwork, determination, and GRIT. Jocko view on life was energizing. Just the sound of his voice is enough to make a grown man shiver from grit.  Shortly after discovering his podcast he published the video attached to this post came at just the exact moment when I needed it the most.

Didn’t get the promotion you wanted..Good

Didn’t get the mission you wanted..GOOD 

Didn’t get fundedGood

Talk about perspective. In a matter minutes, it was time to saddle up and get back in the game. You see just because you fail it does not indicate that you are a failure. It just means you need to work harder the next time. Period!  It’s not the time for complaining, whining, lowering your head, or making excuses. We all get stuck in that trap when we do not accomplish a task.

Whether it is a promotional exam, an attempt at the CPAT, a particular skill on the fireground, or accomplish a personal goal we all should take a lesson from Jocko Willink and his approach.

Jocks reminds us: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get all startled or frustrated. If you can say the word Good, that means your still alive.Dust off, reload, recalibrate, and re-engage Go out on the attack!

Next time you suffer a failure take some lessons from Jocko! Cant throw a ladder by yourself..good. Fail at the box of frustration GOOD.  Didn’t get the firefighter position you applied for.GOOD.   Failure is NOT an option! It’s just a bump on the road to Success! 


Stay in the fight and always #JumpseatReady

Listen to Jockos “Good” here 

Extreme Ownership Book from Jocko Willink can be found Here 

Listen to the Jocko Podcast Here 

Jocko’s Twitter Here 

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