Is this season a failure?
By Yiannis Karakasis MW
When we think about the word "failure," what's the first thing that comes to mind? For many people, it could mean a significant setback. I still remember the day I took a solo helicopter exam, the moment I had to decide whether to pass and become a helicopter pilot or return to the fleet, with the label of failure sticking to me throughout my career. Or when I got into the MW program. Back then, I used to tell myself, "I can't afford to fail." But lately, I say something different to many wine students more and more often. Failing an exam isn't the end of everything because everyone has their journey in the wine world, their own unique journey that comes with its own challenges and pathways. Obviously, each path isn't the same.
This year, both of our kids had a tough time with math exams in Elementary School and were feeling down about their grades. But is the grade really what matters, or is it the effort to improve and grow?
If you want to do well, you first need personal growth to strive for success. The idea of success is built on your values, needs, and the vision you've outlined. You'll have a clear roadmap for success when you look into these. According to Plato, success isn't about completing an action; it's about how you engage in it with wisdom and smarts. Success in acting wisely should always be within reach for a wise person who doesn't rely solely on good luck.
But how do you measure success? Recently, in an interview, the famous basketball player Yiannis Antetokounmpo was asked if not winning the NBA title made the last season a failure. Success can look and feel different for each person, depending on their dreams and aims.
"What in the world?" he responded. "Who asks a question like that?" Then he asked the reporter if they get promoted yearly and whether Michael Jordan, with six titles in his 15-year career, failed in the other nine years. He wrapped up his thoughts by saying, "Each year's effort is a step towards success." Nothing is wasted, and there's no such thing as failing in sports. It's the same in wine and any field with healthy competition. It could be two restaurants next door or two tennis players fighting for the Wimbledon spotlight. The core isn't about always finishing first every year but about setting targets, working to be part of the conversation, improving, and moving forward every year toward success. When you keep at it, it's never a letdown, but when you stay passive and the world moves ahead, that's when it becomes one!
There's just one thing that makes a dream hard to achieve: the fear of failing.