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Failure is the Best Preparation for Success


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Ryan Leak is an author, executive coach, and motivational speaker who inspires over 50,000 people every month. He’s the author of the USA Today best-selling book, Chasing Failure: How Falling Short Sets You Up for Success.

His most recent book, Leveling Up: 12 Questions to Elevate Your Personal And Professional Development, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. In this episode of Motivational Mondays, Ryan shares how failure is the best preparation for success.

The Inspiration Behind Chasing Failure

Ryan dreamt of being in the NBA. He played college basketball and was an All-American. Ryan sought to tap into his potential and get the most out of his life. His goal was to answer the question: “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

The world's top companies spend billions of dollars on research and development. Why shouldn't we expend resources to try new things? Ryan believes that’s the only way to grow and it's also the basis of Chasing Failure.

The Inspiration Behind Leveling up

Ryan noticed that some people thrive when others simply survive, and the people that thrive have a different mindset. They didn’t wait for someone else to save them. Ryan believes that you owe it to yourself to take things to the next level.

His newest book contains questions he designed in his executive coaching practice. Ryan isn’t about telling people what to do but he provides the tools to help you go in the right direction.

Every question in the book is a “loaded question” that leads to more questions. It takes you beyond the surface and makes you think: “What’s the right thing to do?” The answer is different for everyone.

What Ryan Means By “Never Give Up-ish”

Ryan jokes that every keynote speaker has their “line,” such as “Never give up!” But that didn’t resonate with Ryan. He emphasizes that you DO need to give up. Some people take “never give up” too far. You need to find your sweet spot by asking four types of questions:

  • What do you love to do?

  • Where is your skillset?

  • Are you given opportunities to do the thing that you love and that you’re good at?

  • Do you feel like it’s your God-given purpose?

If you check all of those boxes, keep going. If you’re missing the mark on even one, it might be time to re-evaluate. Sometimes, you’re failing so that you know what not to do and sometimes, you do things to figure out what you’re not going to do.

Discovering your purpose and what you were born to do can simply be the process of elimination.

Listen to this episode to learn about...

[1:00] The inspiration behind Chasing Failure
[2:58] Common traits of successful people
[8:33] The inspiration behind Leveling Up
[14:52] The importance of leading by example
[17:25] How DEIB initiatives require taking action
[25:48] What Ryan means by “Never give up-ish”

Listen to the bonus episode to learn the importance of self-care and
why it's vital for taking care of others.