Obvious to some and seemingly contradictory to others, success is found by those who are willing to fail. Even as history has seen countless examples of failure being a common prelude to success, it is often overlooked as people scramble for the perfect success formula. Unsurprising, as failure is not glorious like a perfectly executed and foolproof plan. When you actually fail at something, it isn’t fun.
This isn’t as much inspiring as it is statistical – the more times you try, the more you will fail and succeed. To avoid failure is to avoid success.
As I told my good friend last night, “for the first time, I feel like I’m living my dreams.” I’ve made 39 cents from adsense and I feel like I’m living my dreams? That either makes me crazy or enlightened. Since I have started this website, I have begun to come up with ideas for others. If I find the time to start them, I will be spreading out my risk of failure by having more than one chance of success.
The difference between being willing to fail and unwilling to fail is taking risks.
If you are one who is not willing to fail in a particular area of life, you will make sure that you have no opportunities to fail. The key words in there being “no opportunities.” Security will always have the drawback of closing doors. Let’s see what avoiding failure looks like in three universally important areas.
- Relationships – Simple. Don’t start any.
- Career – Follow well-established, proven paths. It may not be your first choice, but hey…it will pay the bills.
- Dreams – You won’t try, because a realization that you have failed to accomplish your dreams is terrifying (it is to me). It’s as if you’re finding out you’re not good enough and are doomed to live in mediocrity. You’d rather just leave this one untouched for now, and tackle it someday when you’re sure you can succeed.
Notice a theme? Inaction. That doesn’t sound too good to me. I suspect that you and I want something more out of life. We would love to reach our dreams, as they are the strongest desires we have – in theory. In reality, the desires for comfort and security can spoil our dreams without us knowing.
Success Could Be One Fail Away
When brainstorming of people to mention that failed before they rose to fame and fortune, I had a difficult time thinking of anyone who did not meet that criteria. Success without failure is rare.
Henry Ford’s first car company failed, Bill Gates’ first company fizzled out, Michael Jordan did not make his High School Basketball team, and Ben Franklin was completely broke before he rose to fame and fortune.
By the way, Ben Franklin’s auto-biography is fascinating – I think he is one of the most amazing men in history; it is FREE on Kindle platforms – PCs, smartphones, or the Kindle reader.
These men did not plan to fail, they strove to succeed. Do not focus on whether to avoid failure or not. Rather, focus on accepting failure as a part of trying. If you have this mindset and can handle failure when it comes, the world is wide open to you and you can pursue your dreams.
You may try and fail 1,000 times, but when that light bulb finally comes on, there isn’t a greater feeling in the world (Right Mr. Edison?). This is why we try…and fail…and succeed.