Is it possible to fail consistently and achieve ultimate success? Ask anyone who has achieved success, however you choose to define it, and I'll guarantee the common answer will be – YES. How is this possible? Well, there are two ways to define failure and there are multiple ways to respond to it.
Failure – something that falls short of what is required or expected. A breakdown or decline in the performance of something, or an occasion when something stops working or stops working adequately.
Success – something that turns out as planned or intended. Somebody who is wealthy, famous, or powerful because of a record of achievement. Do you agree with this one?
Personally, I take issue with this definition as it leaves out so many achievements that may not end with wealth, fame or power. Let's dig a bit deep into these and look at a few well know examples.
Was Mother Teresa a success? Was George Washington a success? Was Columbus a success? Was Winston Churchill a success? Was Walt Disney a success? Was Henry Ford a success? Was Nikola Tesla a success? This list is endless but the common answer is – yes to all of them. Did all of them fail multiple times? Again – yes. So one could interpret from these and many other examples that eventual success requires failure. Bare in mind that not all of these people ended life wealthy or are enjoying fame, wealth or the approval of others.
OK, Ivan – I get your point so what's the message here?
You see – that could be one of your problems – you want the easy, fast or convenient answer – now. Everyone who has succeeded understood that success, however they defined it, took time, consistent effort, patience, resilience, perseverance, courage and a willingness to try new or different things that they didn't know in advance whether they would lead to success or not.
You could ask – has anyone ever succeeded who never failed sooner or later at something along their path to success. My research says no to that.
So, why is failure necessary for success? For starters success is not an achievement but a process. Do you think Edison spent a few hours trying to invent the filament for the light bulb? Do you think Walt Disney created animation with just a few attempts? Successful people understand that this journey will have its share of challenges, obstacles, disappointment and even severe disasters. No one can guarantee what the journey ahead will look like whether a successful author or athlete. But, those who succeed over the long run accept these challenges as just a part of the process.
Another issue is the passion that these people have for their goals and/or objectives. They are almost possessed with the desire to achieve not knowing where or how the road ahead will end or the road-blocks they will encounter. They have this incredible will that they often have to call on numerous times to overcome and just stick with their mission or purpose. And another thing that they all possess is how they define failure. It is not an ending but a new beginning. It is an opportunity to learn and begin yet again. They don't necessarily like the failure but their resolve keeps them charging ahead. They evaluate, consider, plan, decide and just keep moving forward. And lastly they are not attached to the outcomes. They just keep learning, growing, adjusting and move on with purpose, relentlessness and courage. Have you ever failed at anything? If not it may be because you consistently play it safe. Or that your fear of failure is stronger than your will to succeed?
How about You – Do you have a strong desire to accomplish something? Write a comment below.