In climbing, shared Collins, there’s failure…and there’s “fall-ure.”
Every climb has a move or a section known as the crux. It’s the hardest, most technical, strategically-challenging part of the climb. The crux makes or breaks a climb and, not too infrequently, a climber, too.
But, regardless of whether you make it through, it’s how you handle the crux that determines whether you go home with your tail between your legs or you head back to the lair with an epic story to be shared.
It’s the difference, said Collins, between failure and fall-ure.
Failure is when you get to the crux, start to feel your legs shaking, your forearms and fingers flaming out, your nerves rattling and focus flagging…then just choose to give up, peel off and hang on the rope.
Fall-ure is when you get to that same place. Heart pumping, sweat pouring from places you didn’t know you could sweat, ground a distant memory and, instead of choosing to let go, you commit fully to the next scary-as-hell move. You go for it with everything you have…and still fall.
Failure is about going most of the way, then bailing on your defining moment.
Fall-ure is about going all of the way, then falling in the utterly committed pursuit of a quest.
And, the difference, the willingness to go all-in and fail at the biggest moments, is very often the difference between epic journeys and a lifetime of excuses.
Because failure and fall-ure isn’t just about rock-climbing, they’re about life.
So, what do you and your organization do when you hit the crux?