How about a little honesty: We all want to succeed, true?

Success just means that we get the end result we want. If you want to graduate college and don’t, you just can’t call that success. You might be successful, but not on that point because you didn’t successfully complete college (what you wanted). Of course, there’s nothing necessarily special about having to complete college (ask Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg); but if it is your aim, then success means finishing.

Even spiritual goals like peace and joy and kindness can only be considered successful for us when we get them. The challenging thing about success is that it REQUIRES FAILURE. I developed the diagram below a few weeks ago after finishing our Mastering Goals Course (especially for kids). When I showed it to Jody she said, “You came up with that?” I said, “Yep, I did just now.” She said again, “You did that?” Now, that’s one of her best compliments (and I am grateful) because she instantly got the point…which, on occasion, she misses because I can get a little complicated if I don’t watch myself. Apparently I passed the keep-it-simple-silly test this time!

OK, so there’s not much to it. It kind of sounds like “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” And, while that’s OK, it doesn’t really grasp the important fact that FAILURE is a necessary step in the process. Moreover, LEARNING is also a required step toward success. The idea is that you are in a not-yet-successful box that you must break out of by outwardly moving from trying, to failing, to learning, to Trying again.

This is exactly how it works…we all, who can, learned to walk this way. We tried and failed and learned and EVENTUALLY walked! Aren’t you glad the first time you plopped down on your bottom no one said, “You failure, you’ll never learn to walk!” and left it at that?

All of us need to be cheered on, and we must learn that failing is a part of learning. I know it’s simple, but most miss it. In preparing our kids to leave home and impact the world (or at least survive / thrive), we simply must get them to value failing and learning and trying again.

We have a great course that can help you make this real in their lives. Check it out by clicking on Mastering Goals.

Off to fail,Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand​

​P.S. Okay, sometimes there are one-hit-wonders…but it only happens rarely and NEVER in multiple areas for anyone’s life. Best to get used to The Outward Spiral of Success!


Fred Ray Lybrand
Fred Ray Lybrand

Dr. Lybrand and his wife (Jody) of 35 years homeschooled their 5 children from birth to college, where they all excelled in academics and community (University of Texas & Abilene Christian). Dr. & Mrs. Lybrand have combined degrees of 2 BA's, 2 Masters, and 1 Doctorate), Fred and Jody have stuck with their faith and their obsession with practical learning. As a result, the overall theme of "Teaching Them to Learn How to Learn" invades everything they offer. Dr. Lybrand pastored for 25 years and currently coaches, consults, and trains leaders in businesses, churches, and non-profits. Among his client list are the U.S. Air Force, CRU, Be Broken, Continental Resources, State Farm Insurance, and Pioneer Natural Resources. Of course, one of his favorite interests is helping homeschoolers excel, and he does so with the 10 Courses of The Independent Homeschooer Curriculum & directly mentoring parents who belong to the tribe. Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand Jr. www.fredraylybrand.com

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