Time and Chance.
Concorde was a child of the 60s. Flying 11 miles above the earth at twice the speed of sound, this jet was literally faster than a rifle bullet. London to New York in 2 hours and 53 minutes.
The Concorde isn’t flown anymore.
During a routine take-off in July, 2000, Concorde blew a tire after hitting a small piece of metal on a runway in Paris. A chunk of the tire knocked a hole in the wing, spilling fuel down the side of the plane just as it was lifting off. Ninety seconds later, the plane exploded in the air.
The public was terrified. The Concorde fleet was grounded.
After reinforcing the wings with bulletproof Kevlar and installing puncture-proof tires, the senior executives of Concorde’s parent company boarded the plane in September, 2001 and flew halfway across the Atlantic and back to demonstrate their confidence in the plane’s safety. While they were in the air, terrorists flew commercial jets into the World Trade Center.
Now everyone was afraid to travel.
Having already been out of operation for 14 months, Concorde was unable to recover from this second financial whammy.
Solomon, known for his good advice, said, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Then he followed this eye-of-the-tiger pitch by saying in the next verse,
“I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.”
– Ecclesiastes chapter 9
Robbie Burns agreed with Solomon’s assessment of time and chance. Apologizing to a mouse whose burrow he accidentally uncovered while plowing his field, he said most famously in 1785: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
I share these things with you because I know some of you are facing failure. Don’t let it bother you. Failure, like success, is a temporary condition. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
FAILURE: Because sometimes your very best just isn’t good enough.
Amen. Now we’re done with it. Turn your face to the rising sun.
Tigers are happiest when they’re chasing their dinner.
Even when they fail to catch it, the chase is fun.
Let your tiger run.
Roy H. Williams
“Reward excellent failures. Punish mediocre successes.” – Tom Peters
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again… who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt, April 23, 1910
Now that we've given you permission to fail with chin held high,
would you like to plan for outrageous success in 2008?