“Failure is not an option” is a very well known quote. But my father, Mr. Edwin F. Jackson, told me after the near failure of the Apollo 13 mission back in the late 1960's that “failure has a time-line.”
You have to know that my father was a true genius. He was born in 1917 and he died in 1990. He retired from MacDonald/Douglas, Inc. in 1984. During his aerospace career he designed the first jet fighter plane the U.S. Air Force had back in 1954, the F-84; and in World War II he designed the "dive brakes" for the P-38.
You also have to know that his only son (that's me) is anything but a genius. I was born in 1941, and I am still here at 68 years, 5 months old.
I graduated from Point Loma High in San Diego, CA on June 15, 1960, and I was “pleased” with being in the top 10% of the lower 1/3 of my class of about 300 students. Well, at least I graduated! Some years later in the 1960's my Dad talked to me about failure.
At the time I was very discouraged at my career plans after serving two years in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa, and some time with Air America in Vietnam. I said to my Dad, "Pop, you know I've been a failure at everything I've tried in life and I just don't know what to do now."
My Dad looked at me with those “genius eyes” and said to me, "Hoss” (that's what he had called me from about age six) “failure is a relative thing. It has a time-line! Now just remember that ‘Failure is not an option’…IN THIS LIFETIME!" He then explained to me that failure is part of a successful path, and that I should always keep in my mind that time, failure and success will all work together for all of my lifetime.
To this very day, I still love, respect, and honor my dad and my mom. Maybe someday I will "grow up" and be as smart as my Dad was.
Submitted by Anonymous
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