It’s interesting how failing and being a failure aren’t as closely related as we think. Failure is a condition or a state of mind. But failing lasts a moment. Failure is a choice. Spielberg failed to get into University of Southern California. Michael Jordan failed to make his highschool basketball team. Founder of Pandora.com failed to get investors 300 times. James Dyson failed several times at creating prototypes of his vacuum cleaner. All failed but none were failures. Why? Because they refused to give up. We’re trained to see failing as undesirable, but should it be? What if we saw failing as an opportunity? A redirection? Something that says ‘that way didn’t work, try a different one’. Our scope has become very narrow. Let me paint a picture for you:
Thomas Edison. An American inventor and businessman. He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. On his journey to developing the light bulb there were many times his attempts were unsuccessful, but he saw a bigger picture. I want you to really think about the disappointment he must have experienced those 1,093 times he failed. I’ve put on events and workshops that weren’t successful, I lost a lot of money, and I definitely can’t imagine doing that 1,093 times. But those times that I failed I saw a bigger picture. My endgame was to put on successful events and workshops. And just because I failed at a few, doesn’t mean my end goal is no longer attainable.
What separates the failure from those that have failed is hope. If I knew without the shadow of a doubt I couldn’t do something then I wouldn’t try. But even if I had a mustard seed of hope, then I would give it another shot. Keeping in mind Einstein says something remarkable “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Failing should be seen as redirection, not an opportunity to try the same thing, the same way. You need to learn from it. So the next time you fail, just see it as an opportunity to try the same thing a different way. Because you can fail everyday in your life and still never be a failure. But you have to get back up again.
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”