Friday, October 26, 2012

Success & Failure… Two Different Sides, Same Coin…

 “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 
~Maya Angelou

Failure is a part of the process of achieving success.

I’m 41 years old. And to be completely honest, I’ve accumulated a “sh*t-load” of poor choices and failures in many areas of my life. From personal failures to professional failures, you would think that clinical depression might be my only resort, or my default source of comfort. Maybe it would be my payment for everything I’ve done wrong, amongst the few good choices I’ve made, and successes I’ve achieved; but no… I have a philosophy which has judiciously worked for me and that is, “there are no such things as irrelevant failures, all are purposeful negative outcomes … all are lessons for us to learn from.”
Yes, I have failed in the past but guess what? I no longer live there anymore; tomorrow has come leaving behind yesterday, while empowering me with the knowledge to move forward.

“The road to success is always under construction”
~Lily Tomlin

My road to success through my failures…

An aikido student asked his master, “Master – how is it that you never lose your balance?” The master replied, “I continuously lose my balance. I just regain it faster.”

The road to success is not an easy one to traverse, with many deterrents and pitfalls along the way. While success is worth achieving, it certainly doesn't come easily. My road to success is a slow and steady one. I have goals that I work on every single day, and I don’t stop and get comfortable along the way. Nothing is easy to the point where the accomplishment of one single objective/goal will bring me the satisfaction and contentment needed to finally say, “I’m successful, I’m happy.” I have so many goals, and I feel (actually, I know) that the achievement of them is essential to me feeling complete, feeling accomplished. And while I’m a work in progress on my quest to success (personal and professional), I allow myself to acknowledge my failures and accept them because they are life’s way of weeding out the wrong answers so the right ones can surface.
I don’t judge myself based on my past and my failures. I may not fully be where I want to be (and how I want to be living my life) but I know I’ll get there someday because I’m not quitting!
Let me also bring some clarity to my philosophy, just so that you don’t think I’m endorsing failure. When I fail at something, I don’t jump up and down – and do the happy dance - because I’m happy that I failed (and have gained the opportunity of another life lesson); trust and believe. I wish all my trials would have a successful outcome on the first run but I’m not previewed to the crystal ball of my life. I’ve simply learned to be humbled by my failures, and put things in perspective. It reminds me that I am only human, with human capabilities and knowledge (as the saying goes, “To stumble is human.”). I have also come to learn and experience that failure makes our great moments in life, our successes, that much better…

How funny is it that, the very electricity I’m using to write this blog was a product of over 10,000 failed experiments. Thomas Edison failed so many attempts at creating something monumental, that you would have absolutely expected him to throw in the towel, at least after the first 1,000. There are too many examples of singers who were passed up by record labels, only to keep pushing harder, and end up becoming superstars. Even Michael Jordan (considered the greatest basketball player ever), was cut by his high school team…. can you imagine!? 

It’s usually the biggest failure, let down that empowers us to seek and set ourselves into achieving our full potential, achieving better for ourselves.  It’s the ability to bounce back from scary, stressful choices that end up being the most rewarding.  Without failure, there would be no growth, no success.  But remember, failure, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released to the universe for a better return…

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation,
hard work, and learning from failure.”
~Colin Powell

What are your thoughts on the role of failure and learning in success? In your success…

To looking at failure with a positive eye...


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogger Widgets