Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I interviewed — you know one of the things I always say is that you cannot go to the library to find a book on how to fail, because you already know how to do that. We all know how to fail. We don’t have to go get a book and read up on how to fail ’cause it comes naturally. And there aren’t any books on negative thinking because we all do that naturally, that the books in the library, the bookstore that people get rich on are how to succeed, how to think positively. Well, I interviewed Fran Tarkenton, a former Hall of Fame quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and a number of other teams for the Limbaugh Letter the other day, because he has a book extolling the virtues of failure.

The Power of Failure: Succeeding in the Age of Innovation. It’s obviously a different take on this whole idea of thinking for success, power, positive thinking. Fran Tarkenton writes that that can get you in trouble, that an outsized focus on positive thinking removes you from reality, and whatever you do, whatever endeavor you’re in, you had better be rooted in reality and stay there, which means you need to admit what you can’t do. And who advises that? Most people advise, “You can do anything! You set your mind to it, you can do whatever you want to do.” But some really smart people say it’s just as important to realize your limitations.

For example, the other day in Houston, the Royals are down three to the Astros. And every Royals hitter went to the plate trying to hit a three-run home run with nobody on base. In other words, they were trying to do something they couldn’t do. There was no way to hit a three-run homer when nobody’s on base. The most you can do is hit a single run. The point is you gotta stay within yourself. You gotta realize what you can’t do. That’s not negative thinking. And it’s not beating yourself up. You know, Eastwood said it once in a movie. Man’s got to know his limitations. When you have a gun pointed at you, you have to know your limitations. You have to stay rooted in reality.

And this book that Tarkenton has written, he started 20 companies, ground up. That’s what he does now. He advises people on startups. He says the positive thinking can be your greatest enemy. Who says this? He says the work-life balance is a myth. He says this idea that you can balance work and life and that you should is a myth. This whole balance business, what they’re telling you is you gotta make time for stuff you don’t like. Screw that if you’re oriented toward success.

He advises people to cultivate an attitude of desperation. It’s a totally different take on how to tell people to get the most out of themselves. I was so fascinated by what he said and what he’s written in the book that I had to mention it to you, ’cause, you know, I haven’t spent enough time telling you the books that I’m reading, and that’s one of them, and I wanted to share that with you.

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