Failure is What You Make of it

Crossroads: Success or Failure

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. ~Bill Gates

Most people think failure is a bad thing to be avoided. It’s to be run away from and hidden lest its shame somehow indelibly stain us.

We even fear the very prospect of failure, so hesitate when the opportunity arises to try new things.

And truth be told, failure just does not feel very good at all. In fact, it can feel terrible, something like getting slammed in the face with a shovel. We also worry that our failures will prove our worst fears, that you simply suck!

To Fall is not to Fail. But to Adopt the State of Having Fallen is

Failure is part of the learning experience. It is a powerfully relevant education concentrated into a relatively small moment in time.

And all education is positive. Education is an investment that requires an expenditure, for sure. We all know that education does not always come cheap. But it’s still an investment, not a loss, that will eventually pay handsome dividends if used wisely. And that, in fact, is a step forward rather than the backward step failure often seems to be.

Failure’s New Identity

Perhaps failure should be given a new name to help us recognize its true value, especially when we feel the shovel slam us against the wall. Perhaps “Advanced Accelerated Training” or “Intensified Learning” or “Enhanced Potential Investment Strategy”?

Or maybe we should just start looking at failure for what it really is: an opportunity, as Thomas Edison once famously put it, to “know a thousand ways not to make a light bulb.”

Have you failed a thousand times in some part of life? Great! Now you know a thousand ways not to treat a spouse or run a business or speak to others or spend your time or live your life.

And that’s a pretty cool way to look at it, if you ask me.

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