The Promise To Fail

I stand beneath the Olympic bar, which weighs 45-lbs alone.

Slapping plates on each side at 45-lbs each, I’m now up to 135-lbs total.

That’s a good deal of weight for a leg 6 months out from surgery.

It’s time for a huge PUSH!

As I go into my newest version of a squat, not as low as it used to be, I press back up and feel incredible relief, power, and celebration.

I can squat again!  This is a victory.

I would rather do this challenging process all day, every day, compared to the one I need to do each day instead:

Step down from a 6-inch step with total control 

The smaller the movement the more painful and excruciating the feeling.

I can lunge, do kettlebell swings, and even jump!   Huge moves are easy!

But to softly, and with absolute control, move only inches at a time, can send me into fits of terror and agony.


The smaller the movement, the harder it is. 

The smaller the movement, the more important and essential it is to my healing.

Synapses recalibrating in my leg, screaming for relief, begging me to do the big movements every other few days instead on the squat machine.

I have forced myself for 4 months, since being freed of the straight leg immobilizer brace, to daily, hourly, minute by minute, crunch this leg back into bending motion with the smallest of movements possible, pushing without fail.

Well actually, I’ve failed a ton.

The Promise to Fail has become my mantra.

It may even be the title of the next book.

It used to be Keep The Promise, and still is, in many cases, such as not breaking the promises I have made that I know I can keep.

The new level for me is The Promise to Fail, as that means I am pushing myself to such a level that I am bound to collapse.

Failing is the closest I’ll get to success.

And that’s where I need to be.


Standing under the Olympic bar, I feel power, energy, excitement.  The BIG movements are awesome and important to test where I’m at in my progress.

But slowly lowering myself to the floor – controlled, like a flamingo on one leg, masterfully maneuvering into a seated position on the water – I have become more flexible, stronger deep down, slow and fast twitch fibers reconnecting and relearning, and most of the time… I fail.

Small movements every single day, every hour, every minute, are way harder than the big movements.

It reminds me of the seasons of my life when I am able to GO BIG or be consistent with the little goals and succeed even better:

  • A big push to lose weight instead of just eating right every day and working out without missing;
  • Saying I’m going to write the book, investing in a retreat to crank it all out, instead of just writing a little at a time until it’s done;
  • Giving time to my family on a big Disneyland-type celebratory Saturday, instead of being available every day in some way, even for a minute per child.

The Promise to Fail is when smaller is harder than bigger.

Smaller is more important over the course of sustainable success in Keeping The Promise.

Give it a try.  You’ll be amazed at how awesome it is to fail.

Failing gets us that much closer to a new level of success we never could have reached, by doing the little reps all along, gaining the cumulative strength only small fiber connective tissue commitments can build – of character, integrity, and foundational strength – which allow us to make the big moves when it’s time to make the champion’s weighted push.


~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”


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6 thoughts on “The Promise To Fail”

  1. This really hit me. It takes such willingness. My next promise to fail is putting my 5 year old brain surgery baby in little league baseball. No one ever thought he’d get this far, especially his doctors. But here I am with the Promise to Fail for brain health. Thank you so much for writing every week!

  2. Exactly what I needed to read this Sabath morning. Refocus my thought process from I must knock it out now, to a little at a time and stay on the track. Thank you for your weekly email!

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