Failure is a word that can easily be taken so many different ways. It is a word that can transition from context to content, and in reality; it holds a different meaning to all of us. In many cases and in many instances the word “failure” is perceived with a negative characterization. Unfortunately in societies eyes and under normal circumstances, we as a whole see failure as an attempt without a successful outcome. By having this rationale to explain and justify the faulted attempt, we enable this continued view on the word failure, and we continue to skew from it's true essence and the powerful catalyst it can be in your life.
We must seek this word out for what it really is, we need to connect with it; learn what it is and learn from it. Failure has actually shaped most of our history and it has also been the foundation to humanities flourishing. The greatest minds in the history of existence all have experienced this word for what it truely is. They have proven time and time again, how important it is to us as individuals and society; to understand it.
Failure has continued to be the forefront of our culture, yet we still treat it as our greatest fear. Failure is a process, just as success is a process, these two processes become a solution when combined over time. This is not E=(mc)2, this isn’t A+B=C, it is time and effort plus determination and trust, equals success. There is a saying; “the shortest distance between two points, is a straight line.” When it comes to success, that does not apply, it is unrealistic, there are no straight lines to success. The journey is filled with twists, turns, curves, hills and bumps along the way. Those that experience success, appreciate this journey, they appreciate failure for what it truly is, they understand and they apply this; failure is a lesson.
“Failure is a change in direction, to lead you straight on your path to success.”
The truth behind failure is not focused on it’s meaning, but it’s purpose. The purpose of failure is to teach us. We as humans struggle with patience, we often lack drive to continue on and see things through, we are indeed a culture of “instant gratification.”
The beauty of faultier often gets lost in this fast paced, direct result, illusion guaranteed society. We must break free of this bullshit, we need to step away from our fear of failure and jump in and embrace what we can in fact learn from it. The best lessons learned are through failure. Look at Einstein, Apples iPod, the internet and IBM. Some of the greatest minds, and advancements in our history were all successes based off of failure.
These were all achieved by consciously choosing and understanding what failure means to them, that every time they failed; there was a lesson to learn from it. Each fail brought something, it brought a change to what they had previously done that was not working. It ultimately benefited them. It provided new perspective, new approaches, and new chances to succeed. Chances and changes and opportunities they wouldn’t have had, if they feared failure and had given up. Part of this process is understanding and being able to believe that failure is ok, it is a part of life, without it we can never truly appreciate success.
A person who sets out on a goal and achieves it immediately, what does he gain. Sure the right to say he has achieved something, but is he truly fulfilled, is he satisfied? The man who tries and struggles and fails time after time, that looks at each failed attempt comparing it those before, learning from each, changing and evolving along the way; him and his goal. He perseveres, he takes all that failure has to offer him, he strives and he fails again, but discouragement doesn’t set in. No, he continues, he presses on, he re-evaluates, rethinks, re-engineers, and he re-executes. He puts all he has into his attempt. Now this is where the real lesson is going to come in, and where many have the hardest time understanding what has happened.
When your attempt is successful, through the hardships you can look back and you can see that journey, that path; as chaotic and unrelenting as it was, it is beautiful. It is a representation of who you have become, your attempts, your failure in retrospect were your defining moment. Failure is not about failing, it is about learning, it is about being bold, being daring, taking the risk and defying fear. What we need to grasp here is that failure is our guide, it is what directs us up the mountain, it is what steers us amongst the waves of the ocean, it is the lighthouse on the shores of our success. We must not fear in this, but rather trust in it. That in which we fear, is in turn that which limits us, we must be fearless in our failures.
Sometimes that failure, that struggle, that time and effort put in is all that it will be. That is not to say there wasn’t a lesson and a success in that. You tried your very best, you put all you had into this and you came up short every time. It may not have been for you to achieve this goal, but you still have a success; knowledge. You still learned from this experience. You move forward with no regrest and what if's. You may not have gained your goal, it may not have lead you to your accomplishment, but you did learn from this, you now have a deeper knowledge to walk away with. Maybe it’s a revisit or it is a let go, but you did not give up, you did all you could, and for that, failure was your teacher. You can step back and look at this with a head held high, knowing you gave all you had and there is no fault in that.
“We don’t ever lose; we either win, or we learn.”
It is very important to acknowledge the growth that comes from failure. Whether it be personal or professional, we grow with and from our failures. Each failure we experience, as many or as few as it takes to succeed, will grow our confidence and understanding of failure; and fear. Failure is what causes you to have a stronger mindset, to be more mentally and emotionally resilient to adversity and opposition. Failure grows our confidence and our self worth as we learn and grow to appreciate just what we are made of, what we can endure, and what we do to overcome.
When facing a challenge there is always chance, a chance at success, and a chance at failure. Preparation here is knowing that there is a chance for failure, and also having that attitude that if you are going to fail; fail big! If you are going to embark on a journey, accept a challenge, chase a dream, take on a project; take it on with an open mind and open eyes. Delve into this with an attitude of “I can fail, or I can fail BIG.” The difference there is such as the age old saying of “go big, or go home.” If we indeed plan on failing big, we have a greater chance at failing and learning more from the fail. We will identity more of what is needed to attain our success. We will become less fearful in our attempts, we will appreciate our journey that much more. We will understand this process and we will apply all that we have collected from our faults. We will learn, we will grow and we will succeed.
In doing this we will cultivate a new attitude, a better way of thinking, we will inspire, and encourage others to adopt and apply this same principle. We will do and return back full circle to what failure is all about; change. We will change how this world sees and interprets failure.
BE BOLD. BE DARING. BE DISSIDENT.