Let me be clear up front: I’m one of those guys who likes to poke fun at the French. No good reason, other than it’s fun and easy to do. With that being said, let’s move on.

I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about how failure is part of our journey. Most leadership and business writings praise failures, because some of the most successful people in history have had some epic failures.

But this ideology only makes sense if you’re failing doing the right thing. Take the French for example. They are known for having great music, art, sculptors, designers, and food. They are not known for having a great military. In fact, history shows that they lose far more often than they win.

If the “failure is the pathway to success” mentality were true, then the French would be great in war. They aren’t, but that’s ok. Their strengths lie elsewhere (thanks to the French we have a great sidekick to a cheeseburger).

Maybe that analogy doesn’t connect with you. Try this one:Sunday night church. I grew up in churches that had services on Sunday night. I’m convinced Sunday night church is just like Sunday morning, except with fewer people and not done as well.

For some reason everyone who felt that “God wanted them to sing” would try and sing the post-offering special on Sunday nights. Well, bless their hearts. Most of them tended to be prison singers:unable to find the key and behind a few bars.

Honestly, most of them wouldn’t succeed. Does that mean they were on the road to success? Not hardly. The problem is that they were failing at the wrong thing. In the case of the singers, they were convinced they were gifted musically (this mindset was probably due to the fact that our culture has elevated musicians and singers, and they were possibly seeking to serve their pride and self-esteem).

Before we go out and start failing up a storm, let’s take some time and discover where our talent lies. Once we discover that, then let’s start trying some big-and seemingly crazy-things. Failure may happen, but at least we’re failing at the right things.

So don’t be like the French or Sunday night singers, because in both cases their failure could result in lives lost.