Yesterday afternoon, Jeff Marshall, who is an executive with the OMNICOM group that was co-founded by Del Val alumni Tom Watson, gave one of the most impressive speeches I’ve ever attended. Speeches that are mainly geared to attract students can easily become dull and dry, leaving the audience blankly staring in a PowerPoint presentation wondering when the travesty will end ( MONTCO was known for these). But Jeff Marshall’s speech left an impact on me, and I think it was a very important speech to college students to hear, and here’s why.
Jeff Marshall’s speech contained one of the most important lessons one can learn in life, failure is inevitable. We are so conditioned within society to learn that failure is a bad thing, and that if we fail, we are deemed failures. Marshall’s speech showed that just because one fails, doesn’t make them a failure. In fact, failure conditions people for success. As I watched Marshall give numerous examples of successful people who met failure early on in their endevours, I began to realize that failure does indeed condition you and your mind for success.
With the amount of pressure that is put on college students in today’s society in America, its easy to get caught up in ones failures. If we fail, we feel as though we’re falling behind the pack and won’t be able to reach our goal. I’ve felt this way, and I know others have felt this way as well. The world and job industry has become so competitive and when looking at it from the outside, it seems as though that one almost has to be flawless in order to become successful. Marshall showed us that is not the case. He showed us that in order to be successful, you have to fail.
What that teaches us is that we don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes, falling short of a goal, not getting things right the first time. In today’s society that craves perfection and has unrealistic expectations on people, that is an incredibly important lesson. As I left the seminar, I found myself thinking about decisions I made that were made out of far of failure, rejection, or not being good enough. The list went on and on, as I’m sure it does for everyone else. But Marshall’s speech gave me a new perspective. It taught me to try, welcome failure, and to move on from it. And I think that’s something we need to remember to do throughout our lives.