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The Upside of Failure

January 12th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Everyone loves a success story.  We all enjoy hearing them.  They motivate us and reinforce our level of belief that good things can happen.  But, there is an element in every success story we don’t often think about. In every success story, there is always failure.

What kind of story would it make if someone succeeded all the time?  What if they never looked into the yawning face of failure?  It would be a very boring story and no one would be able to relate to it.

We all fail.  No matter what successes we have in our lives, it has always come with a close relationship to failure and adversity.  If we haven’t enjoyed enough success, it tells me one thing.  We haven’t had enough failures.  If there hasn’t been too many failures, it’s because we’re playing life too closely guarded, without enough risks taken.

Failure is a stepping stone to success.  Rejection is another.  I once heard a speaker who said, “The road to success leads right straight through the dump!”  How true!

Success is not a clean sport.  In fact, success is only a bi product of learning to persevere through a life filled with failure and adversity.  Success is only reached after we have crawled around in the dirt of failure, risen up again and strive for more.

Failure teaches us humility, patience, and to be persistent.  It teaches us that rejection doesn’t mean stop.  It teaches us to push through and learn from what doesn’t work.

Failure can squash fear!  Fear is a way of letting us know we are on to bigger things.  When we have faced failure, we no longer have to fear it.

Failure doesn’t automatically mean success.  It all depends on our perception of failure and rejection.  We can view failure as a huge obstacle which drops down on us like a boulder from above, crushing us forever under its weight.  Or, we can look at it as one more way something doesn’t work, a rock of adversity we can climb on our way to victory.    It can teaches how strong and resilient we are.

It can teach us to take risks and not to be afraid to fail.  Failure isn’t fatal unless we allow it.  The biggest thing we can learn from failure is to be thankful for it.  For without it, there wouldn’t be success.

The next time you are moved by a success story, try imagining what the story would be like without the element of failure.  Better yet, let’s face failure on our own terms.  Let’s look it in the eye, waive our fist in its face and go on to create our own success stories!

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  1. February 6th, 2011 at 05:28 | #1

    hopefully this comment doesn’t appear multiple times (it appears to freeze once i try to post my comment.. not sure if it’s actually posting), but all I really wanted to say was great post and thanks for sharing.

  2. February 11th, 2011 at 00:20 | #2

    I like the blog, but could not discover how to subscribe to obtain the updates by email.

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