Failure – Good or Bad?
Most of us seem to associate failure as a bad thing, but if you talk to most successful people, they will probably tell you of their many so-called ‘failures’ and ‘rejections’. By success, I mean whatever success means to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean fame or wealth. Your idea of success will be based around your core values. If ‘success’ was easy, it would not be worth having or at least it would have little value to you, you simply would not appreciate it and that is something we all do, until whatever we have is gone.
“99 percent of success is built on failure.” – Charles Kettering
What Failure Means to you
The Oxford Dictionary online gives 3 explanations; 1. Lack of Success, 2. The neglect or omission of expected or required action, 3. The action or state of not functioning. Failure is simply describing a moment in time, yes in terms of someone’s heart failing, that will be permanent, but in terms of ‘lacking success’, it is not. Just because you fail at something once, twice or a hundred times, it does not mean that you will never succeed, in fact each failure means you are getting closer to success and if your mind truly believes that, you will achieve your goal.
“The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.” – Thomas Watson, (Founder of IBM)
The things we work the hardest for are the most rewarding, even if we consistently fail, each failure is a lesson, but failure can be disheartening, when we lose sight of what we are striving for. This is why it is important to keep the end goal in mind in difficult times. The lyrics of The Script’s ‘Hall of Fame’ comes to mind ‘you can be the greatest, you can be the best, you can be the king kong banging on your chest ……. dedicate yourself and you could find yourself living in the hall of fame ……….’ Dedicate yourself to ‘your’ cause, whatever that is.
“I failed my way to success.” – Thomas Edison
I know this is stating the ‘bleeding obvious’ but most successful people have previous failures under their belt, whereas had they given up, they would have never succeeded in what they did. Some famous ‘failures’ that never gave up and it paid off include; J. K. Rowling, Harrison Ford, Stephen King, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Elvis, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein ………. the list goes on and on. For every famous ‘successful failure’, there will be many ordinary men and women that have been their own heroes, that have carried on regardless, despite obstacles in their path.
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” – Robert H. Schuller
I don’t know about you, but knowing the above extremely successful people in their field did not have an easy ride, but reached their destination regardless, really inspires me. It gives me hope that my life can change, if I never give up.
“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” – C. S. Lewis
Believe in Yourself
So what do these ‘successful failures’ have that differ from those of us that do give up, I believe they have, above anything else an unshakable self-belief and this belief drives their determination to follow their dream, making the rejections and obstacles they face merely stepping-stones and learning curves in achieving what they want.
“When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.” – George Bernard Shaw
Change Your Perspective
The lesson here is to take a different perspective on failure, failure is merely a chapter, not a book. I now view failure not as the end of the road, but as another step taking me closer to my dreams.
If nothing else, try to take a piece of inspiration from this article and you too may be living in your own ‘hall of fame’ wherever that may be.