Embrace your learning opportunities

Embrace your learning opportunities

January 2, 2022 0 By Rick

I want to start 2022 differently. Everybody boasts about their accomplishments, but few are as vocal about their efforts where they didn’t succeed. That’s kind of strange since we know that this is where we grow and learn. Google, Apple and other companies appreciate failures. And I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “fail fast forward. The real aim of “fail fast forward,” of course, is not to fail intentionally, but to ensure we learn from our opportunities, to tweak, reset and then do again to be successful. We have an expression in “The Teams” that says, “There is only winning and learning – no failing.” So, I aim to show that you become successful because of your learning opportunities. That’s why I’ve included a CV that highlights my many learning opportunities. It’s not a  “CV of failures,” which has been around for some time but a different slant on this concept. My CV below represents an attempt to list my numerous “learning opportunities.” I say an attempt because I’ve got so many, I can’t possibly remember them all. Remember that there is no failure, only early attempts at success. That said, here we go.

Rick La Roche


OBJECTIVE: To showcase my numerous learning opportunities that have enabled me to become resilient and successful. Hopefully, it will inspire others to become resilient, shake of rejections and keep on moving forward.

Consistently poor in school
Forced to sit in the corner with my back to the class
Disturbed the class
Couldn’t sit still
Had several learning disability acronyms by today’s standards
Punched holes in the bandroom wall with my drumsticks
Constantly lied to my teachers about why I didn’t do my homework
Five “Fs” and one “D” out of six subjects one term in high school
Failed the US Navy manual dexterity test miserably
Dropped out of university after one month
Struggled to understand how guided missles worked even though that was my navy occupation until I went to BUD/S
Failed my commercial aviation license

U of Florida
U of Georgia
U of Miami
USC and many, many more
Dropped out of a PhD program

Owned an English pub and went bankrupt
Lost my apartment because I couldn’t pay the rent
Rejected by many prestigious companies
English teacher in Iran in 1978 (thank God, as the revolution happened the next year)
Corporate English teacher
American Express
Adventure guide
CIA (too old)
Federal Air Marshal (too old)
Police officer
Marine Fisheries Officer
Managerial positions at several companies
Instructor and many, many others

Numerous unsuccessful relationships with the opposite sex
First marriage
Failed miserably in Swedish Survivor (ruptured left ACL)
Failed even more miserably in Swedish Alone (ruptured right ACL)

And this was just the tip of the iceberg of my many learning opportunities. Don’t hide them – embrace them. They made me what I am today. I’ve had many learning opportunities, and it’s worked out well for me. I’ve been a Navy SEAL, US diplomat, successful businessman, public speaker, university lecturer, treaty-compliance observer, pilot and an author, among other things. I want to leave you with the saying that I mentioned at the beginning of this post: “There is only winning and learning – no failing.” Happy New Year! 2022 – bring it on!