Failure can be a wonderful opportunity to grow and innovate. If you find that you are consistently getting angry with yourself, chances are slim that you will be able to resurrect anything from your experience. Your family, friends, colleagues, and those around you may lose that opportunity to grow as well.
Failure is an essential ingredient to learning and growth. The failure that occurs in your life doesn’t shape you as much as how you respond to the failure does.
The worst failure is not in the event itself. The worst failure is to choose to remain paralyzed by it.
If we never have blunders or mistakes in our lives, then we are probably not making any decisions either. F. Scott Fitzgerald says something that pierces the heart, “Never confuse a single mistake with a final mistake.”
Recently I came across an excerpt called Rules for Being Human, by Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott. Here are a few rules I believe describe the state we should be in:
Rule #1: You will learn lessons.
Rule #2: There are no mistakes – only lessons.
Rule #3: A lesson is repeated until it is learned.
Rule #4: If you don’t learn the lessons, they get harder. (NOTE: Pain is one way the universe gets your attention.)
Rule #5: You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.
Can you imagine Beethoven or Mozart trying to compose music so carefully that they never hit a wrong note? Do you believe that they would have been able to compose epic masterpieces if they completely avoided mistakes?
Beethoven was no stranger to mistakes, disappointments, and failure. In fact, at one point in his career his music teacher said he had no talent for music and “as a composer, he is hopeless.”
Some other examples of those who failed, yet went on to succeed:
· 12 publishers rejected J.K. Rowling, legendary author of the Harry Potter books, before selling her first book. Now she’s worth more than $1 billion.
· Henry Ford went bankrupt multiple times before he experienced success.
· The California-born French chef, Julia Child, author and television celebrity, could barely cook until she was thirty-four years old.
· One of the greatest thinkers and brilliant minds of our time, Albert Einstein, was told by a schoolmaster in Munich that he would “never amount to much.”
· One of the most prolific inventors in history, Thomas Edison, was told as a youngster that he was not that bright.
All great successes persevere in the face of hardship, denial, and failings. They continue to believe in themselves and reject the idea that they are “failures.”
As Elbert Hubbard said, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” A beneficial result to this might be, “If you want to be successful in life, continually fill your mind with opportunities, not obstacles, so that you will create them.”