“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill
I caught a glimpse of a car auction today, where a 1966 car sold for $4.4 million. The car was definitely beautiful, and obviously a collector’s item, but I wasn’t familiar with the story behind the creation of this vehicle, and I was intrigued to find out what made this 50-year old car so valuable.
Things don’t always go the way we want them to, and sometimes we fail. I believe there’s no better teacher or motivator than failure – it gets the juices flowing in a way that not many other things do, especially when it sparks rivalry; which can be healthy, as long as it’s friendly competition. I’m not sure that the story I’m going to share with you today would be classified as friendly competition, but failure was definitely the fuel that led to success in this case.
There’s something good in every situation. Always. Even failure.
When a business deal went sour, Henry Ford II, fueled by anger, directed his racing division to find a company that could build a race car that would beat Ferrari on the world endurance-racing circuit, giving birth to the GT40, and his famous rivalry with Enzo Ferrari.
So the story goes, in the spring of 1963, Ford heard through a European intermediary that Enzo Ferrari was looking to sell to Ford Motor Company. Interested in the purchase, Ford apparently spent millions to audit Ferrari assets, and in legal negotiations to finalize the sale, only to have Ferrari cancel the deal in the 11th hour because they couldn’t reach an agreement on who would control the motor sports division of Ferrari.
Negotiations broke down when Ford told Enzo that he wouldn’t be able to race at the Indianapolis 500 if the deal went through, because he didn’t want the competition from Ferrari for the race. Ferrari then cut the deal off out of spite.
Ford went to work to beat Ferrari at 24 Hours of Le Mans, only to loose to Ferrari in 1964 and 1965. Driven by failure, Ford was determined to beat Ferrari, and ultimately succeeded in 1966. Ford continued to come in first for consecutive wins in 1967, 1968 and 1969. Take a look at this short clip of how this car came to be:
I get a kick out of imagining Enzo Ferrari singing to the Biebs in reaction to losing to Ford at Le Mans…”baby, baby, no, I thought you’d always be mine.” #laughterisgoodforthesoul
Blog Beats: Baby by Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris
But seriously, when you can harness the energy of the negative emotions that come with failure, you can achieve great things.
Beauty is born of failure.
Turn your failures into the ultimate driving machine, and race towards your dreams!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!