How to Fail Successfully
There are 7 Reasons Failure Can Boost You to Success. The key phrase is reason. There isn’t anyone who understands failure like me. We can look at the famous failures in the world and use their models for success through failure to guide our management style, our home life, our business life, friendships and our personal and professional lives.
Forrest for the Trees
One doesn’t have to look far to find successful failures. Not everyone we recognize as successful arrived there at the end of a well-planned journey. More often than not, the most famous examples of success faced huge obstacles and roadblocks that was the catalyst for their recognized successes. As is demonstrated in every form of academia, the smartest people are not often the most successful people. A degree does not guarantee success. For example, I made a fortune long before I ever had a degree.
Some of the most well-known people in the world were also some of the least-well known for their failures;
Henry Ford: The road to success for the automobile guru failed into bankruptcy five times in other businesses before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
Walt Disney: Today, Walt Disney is the icon for family and fun in movies, theme parks and merchandising. However, he was a complete failure as a newspaper editor and fired because he, “lacked imagination”! Go figure…
Abe Lincoln: Abe failed miserably at politics and his military career. He went to war a captain and returned a private only to become president. He also failed in business seven time to include bankruptcy and social embarrassment. Yet he is known as one of this country’s greatest leaders.
Bill Gates: A college drop-out, Gates failed at data businesses again and again until he founded Microsoft… and the rest is history. One of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates embodies all that we consider as success… but born from failure.
Albert Einstein: The term genius is synonymous with the name Einstein. Yet Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four and could not read until he was eleven! He was expelled from school, shunned and ignored as well as considered an abject academic and social failure, handicapped and anti-social among his peers and educators. Yet he was later awarded the Nobel prize for physics and recognized as the father of modern physics. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
… and more.
The Key to Failure
The key to our retort to failure is the key to our success. Failure has benefits if we consider them an ally instead of an adversary;
1. Failure gives opportunity to learn.
The opportunity to learn is a valuable teacher when we seek to blame others for our failures. Originality is frequently born from a lack of experience.
2. Failure demands accountability.
The failure to change can be a fatal flaw in our perception of the need to learn from and move forward. Making mistakes means you are doing something. Not making mistakes translates to a reluctance to change based on what we learned from our failures.
3. Failure is a reason to explore.
The highest prize for failure is taking a grasp on the reason we fail and seeking another avenue to enhance our success. To investigate the motive is to explore the weakness and seek to overcome it.
4. Great Success is born from great fear.
Success comes just beyond your comfort zone. Fear usually propels one to success just after you have experienced what seems to be insurmountable fear. Rejection, disappointment, setback, defeat, and soul-crushing denial are the murderers of success.
5. Mindset sets the stage for success.
There is no greater tool in the arsenal of success-building than mindset. After all, who can control one’s success better than you? A healthy mind can deliver the crushing blow to defeat again and again. The roots of the greatest success develop from the seeds of overcoming adversity and defeat.
6. Failure demands change.
Once was said that, “our failure to learn from our defeat will demand that we repeat our future poor performance.” Change is essential to demonstrate that we have learned from our mistakes so as to not repeat them. The slightest delay in change will cement our feet to collapse and guarantee our failure.
7. Failure is reason for improvement.
Improvement is always the intuitive result of innovation when directed by the experience of failure. No greater examples of innovation are aerospace travel and aviation where the experience of failure has written the rule book of future success.
The sweetest victory are the spoils of the tough battles. With this, I say that we need to embrace failure with the same enthusiasm as we embrace success… and then model our efforts thus so.
By Dr. Mark Zupo