Jan 20, 2015 • 4 min read
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong? It’s the kind of day you wish you stayed in bed, however, if you did, you’d probably get bit by one of those notorious bed bugs you’ve been warned about.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to be going your way? The only thing brighter than the sun shining on your face is the smile you just can’t seem to wipe off of it. It’s just a great day!
Well, I’ve had plenty of good and bad days. I’ll be honest, I often take my good days for granted and my bad days too personally. I’ve always wondered; what makes an entire day good or bad? Is it karma or a divine directive that’s outside of our control? While I believe we each have a divine directive, I don’t think it dictates our hour by hour perspective. So then what does? Well, the perspective is ours, and the direction we take is up to us.
Everyone has experienced success and failure. Success puts a lift in your step while failure puts a rock in your shoe. Both success and failure have momentum in your life. A success will usually manifests itself into your mood and will carry you into one of those “great days.” On the other hand, a failure can start a tailspin of negative thoughts that will invade everything you do. The choice is yours. You can fly on success or sink in failure. Since everyone has an ample supply of both, everyone has the choice to hang onto success or cling to failure.
Here’s an APIVEO lesson that will help you teach this to kids in a fun and engaging way. You will need a helium-filled balloon, a rock, and two pieces of string. Tie one string to the balloon and the other to the rock. This lesson is best done outside on a clear, calm day.
With the balloon in one hand and the rock in the other, talk to the kids about the uplifting feelings of success as compared to the heavy weight of failure. Let them know that just like the balloon and the rock, success and failure are very real things in all of our lives. Tell the kids that the strings tied to the balloon and rock represent you, and the knots represent your grip. Hold up the rock and introduce it as “failure.” Drop the rock and let the string run through your hand so it’s obvious that it follows the rock to the ground. When we tie ourselves to our failures it’s like hanging on to a weight we can’t possibly carry. Now introduce the balloon as “success” and release it into the sky while letting the string run through your hand to emphasize the uplifting motion. When we tie ourselves to our success we can fly! While the balloon flies out of sight, you can share a personal story about when you focused on success instead of failure.
It’s very important the kids understand that success and failure are both very real. However, the more we focus on our successes the further we can travel yet the more we dwell on our failures, the fewer opportunities we will have.
In closing, I always share this simple statement. You are not the sum of your past failures. Instead, you can always be the product of your next success.
Brad Jubin is a volunteer youth coach in Peachtree City, GA. Together with his family, Brad founded www.APIVEO.com. APIVEO (Always Play IV Each Other) is a free resource that leverages Brad’s personal experiences as a youth coach to help other coaches teach kids about leadership and character through a series of fun and engaging lessons. For more thoughts on youth sports from Brad Jubin, be sure to check out our podcast interview with him, “Developing Leaders in Youth Sports.”