I believe it was Thomas Edison who famously said that he had not failed, he had merely discovered ten thousand ways that don’t work. Is that not a beautiful take on perspective and determination?
There are many more famous examples of people who have literally failed their way to success! It doesn’t seem at first glance that the two are compatible, but indeed they are a close kin. Look at it this way, if all we do is dream about what it would be like to do something big, but never take a step towards the dream we are absolutely guaranteed to fail and never realize the dream. Truth be told, if we take a chance and step out in faith towards our dreams there is no promise of attaining the goal or even being any closer to the goal after we try. So why try at all if this is the way it is? There is something so amazing and surprisingly satisfying in our best attempts that makes the effort worth the while.
Speaking for myself, I know that there are enormous heaps of failure in between each success I have experienced along the way. You can say that when measuring the failures compared to the successes that overall I’m a failure right? If we are simply counting the numbers of failures versus successes, then I suppose, but who does that? The runner who competes and fails to place in race after race could be deemed a failure. However, the training and preparation that goes into each race strengthens the runner and puts them in a place where even though they may have lost this race, they are poised to improve the next them they try. Plus, lessons learned through the course of failure refine their approach next time. For some, simply being able to complete a race is reward enough regardless of winning or losing! But just imagine the exhilaration of the day that runner crosses the finish line first! Do you think at that moment they are looking back over their years of failure and accepting that because they failed more than they won that they are in fact a loser somehow? NO! Absolutely not! In that moment the first success is realized, all the failure is now nothing more than mere preparation that lead to this now sweet moment of supreme accomplishment.
I dare say that this scenario applies to me and you no matter what our ‘race’ of choice. It doesn’t matter how many times I got rejected trying to get a job in broadcasting. When I finally landed my first job, I wasn’t crying about all the missed opportunities, but instead, was celebrating the fact I had one now! When I found my beautiful wife and mother of my two amazing children I didn’t look back at all the failed relationships and label myself a social failure. No! I rejoiced in the fact that I now basked in the glorious success of finding the one for me! As an author, I don’t look at all the failed attempts to write a book and think of me as a failed author. No! I look at my book, “Power In Perseverance” and the lives that have been changed and the blessings that have come through the open door of radio & TV interviews because of it, and I see a resounding success!
We have to choose what we focus on. How do you like that? Another visual pun from a blind man! I can choose to focus on failure, but then my negative outlook will feed upon itself and become a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts and I will continue to live in failure. Or, I can choose to focus on my accomplishments and the joy they have added to my life and allow myself to be defined by them instead of the failed attempts.
If this blind, cancer survivor, heart patient can overcome the obstacles in my life, then why can’t you? What is your excuse? What is holding you back? If it is your attitude and perspective that’s easy to change, just make the decision. If it is a disability or other life challenge, that’s ok, you can still overcome it and get to where you want to go. You just need to find someone like you who has done it before. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. I believe that! If someone, anyone like you or me has done something before then so can we!
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