Failure – a prerequisite to success
Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the chairman and CEO of IBM from 1914 until 1956, is attributed with saying, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”
When Thomas Edison was asked about how he failed 700 times in making the light bulb, he said,. “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen (authors of the, now franchise, Chicken Soup for the Soul) were rejected a whopping 140 times before being published.
Abraham Lincoln had 12 major political failures in 30 years before becoming president of the United States.
History shows us to never give up. Few people succeed without failure leading the way.
Remember learning to ride a bicycle, watching a toddler take on a flight of stairs, listening to a preschooler recite the alphabet; success follows failure.
I always told students or clients who were looking for employment to expect 12 interviews before they were offered a job; we cannot afford to get discouraged by failure.
Failure helps us learn. If we succeeded every time we tried something we would never be challenged, and therefore we would never grow and improve. Great inventions would not be discovered, and world records would not be broken.
Failure is not fun, but it builds character and wisdom, and it provides the root of tenacity that is the foundation of dreams come true, or goals attained.
Failure is also dependent on context; what is success to one might be failure to another. What might be a challenge for one might be easy for another. Those are reasons not to compare you to others when determining your success or failure. The greatest achievements happen when you compete against yourself; a lower golf score, a higher bowling score, a faster mile, increased sales, improved crop yield, or improving a bad situation.
If you want a higher paying job, a better relationship, a healthier body, a new business, or more money in your savings account, never give up; keep on trying.
If you really want to achieve something, remember with every failure you learn something new. Everything you learn increases your odds at succeeding. Keep your chin up and never lose sight of what you want. It can happen if you do not let failure stop you.
Until the next time: Live while you live!