The Failure Quotient

How many tries will it take you to succeed? 100 reasons to never give up.

BY: Michael Norwood


The president of my college gave the best speech any luminary ever could have at my graduation. Addressing the hundreds of students, he said that now that we were graduating, our success in life no longer depended on our I.Q., but rather on our F.Q.-our Failure Quotient; how many times we could be knocked down but keep getting back up and slowly moving forward.

I don't know if any of my fellow graduates remembered those words, but I never forgot them. I have seen over and over again in my life and in the lives of others how a high F.Q. is the key to success.the one factor that all people of accomplishment have in common.

Having a high Failure Quotient is a paradox; we aren't accustomed to equating failure with success. When we think of super-winners or super-successful people-whether they be superstar athletes like Michael Jordan, renowned politicians like Rudy Giuliani, or famed entrepreneurs like Ross Perot or Walt Disney-we usually think of them in the lap of luxury, at the top of the world, and at the height of ease and power.

Yet Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all time for one thing: his ability to "turn on" in the fourth quarter; not the first, second or third quarter, mind you. But in the fourth quarter, when his team is often down, when things are most crucial, and when lesser players in sports-and more passive people in life-are ready to throw in the towel.

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