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Failing Is Part of Success

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

Everyone fails sometimes. We're all human, and we cannot be right and do right all the time. Failure has the most extreme negative connotation in our society and culture. No one wants to fail. Yet we do and we will. We cannot get through our adult lives without failure. Probably many failures. Failure only means that things didn't work out the way we thought they would. That's not so bad, is it? Anybody who doesn't know everything that has happened in the past, everything that is happening in the present, and everything that will happen in the future can't get too upset if everything doesn't work out exactly the way he thinks things will.

We should not use failure to denigrate ourselves and to convince ourselves that we are useless and incapable. We should use failure to show us that we were doing the wrong things, or doing the right things in the wrong ways. We should use failure as a tool to help us succeed. The faster we fail, the faster we can correct what is wrong and the faster we can move toward success.

Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, was asked the secret of success. He said, "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate."

Failure simply gets the clutter out of the way and lets us cut to the solutions to our problems. It teaches us what we have to do and how we have to do it to be successful. A person might think he is a failure, and then he is because he will quit. A successful person thinks he is definitely on his way to success, and that temporary failure is part of success, and so he is successful.

On the David Susskind show, he once interviewed four individuals who had become millionaires before age 30. He asked them how many businesses they had been in and out of before they got to the point where they started the businesses that made them millionaires. The average was 17. Most people would have quit after one failure. Of course, most people would not have even tried. These four individuals were not failures. They stayed in there until they found out what worked for them, and then they succeeded. 

True failure comes from not making changes. From continuing on the same failure track because of laziness, fear, or stupidity. And especially continuing on doing the same things and expecting different results.

Failure can cause fear, but just as surely, fear can cause failure. We cannot let fear stand in our way of trying something. If we do nothing, our failure is guaranteed. If we try something, we at least have a chance of succeeding. And if we keep intelligently trying to do something each time failure tries to derail us, sooner or later we will be successful. Master your fear; don't let it be your master.

Failure doesn't really exist unless we don't learn and change. If we learn and change because of failures, we have simply succeeded in learning what does not work in our lives. Thomas Edison tried approximately 10,000 different configurations trying to invent the light bulb. A journalist asked him how he felt about failing that many times. He answered that he had not failed. He had succeeded in finding 10,000 things that did not work, and each one that didn't work put him that much closer to what did work.

If you're not failing, you're not trying anything new. But if you're not trying anything new, you're certainly failing, anyway.

"It matters little if you try and fail and try and fail again. It matters much if you try and fail and fail to try again." (Author unknown)

This is not to say that repeatedly doing foolish or stupid things is leading one on to success. That's where leadership comes into failure. A leader knows to stay away from stupid and foolish in the first place, but on the occasion of getting into the environs of stupid or foolish, he learns quickly and gets out of there, never to return. Almost exclusively a leader does things that could conceivably work, but if they don't, and he fails to get to the right place, he picks up and moves on in a different direction, more wise and intelligent for the experience.

Weldon Smith is the author of the book True Leadership and False Counterfeits, which explains what True Leadership is, and why any other idea of what Leadership is does not work. Furthermore, Leaders are not only those who have followers. Every success in every aspect of life is the result of practicing true Leadership.

Please visit my website at to subscribe to my free newsletter or to read my book.

Source: EzineArticles
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