December 16, 2014

Why "Failure" is a Character Builder

Like many people, I have not achieved all of my life’s goals. In fact, I have accomplished few of them. However, in the midst of my “failures” I have discovered invaluable life truths: failure is not final and every ending brings a brighter, unexpected beginning.

In my book, Accept No Trash Talk, I mention specific examples of people who refused to accept defeat. I also explain how failure is only a stepping-stone to future victories.

What follows is a direct quote from my book:

It’s often said each person is their own worst critic. Certain personality types are particularly prone to depression and negativity. These individuals are likely to remember their own failures more than they remember their successes. 

Like many people who push beyond ordinary lives, I have “failed” many times. Yet, I keep picking myself back up. I do this by analyzing what I can learn from my failures and pressing on toward my next goal. 

More than one powerful person has said true success is built on failure because we learn from our blunders. Mistakes are our real-world classroom. I would venture to say every effective individual has a story of how they overcame tremendous odds on their way to the top. In addition, every follower of history can quote examples of how such luminaries as Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, and Harriet Beecher Stowe overcame many challenges on their way to becoming towering figures in history. 

In the same way, currently famous celebrities weren’t always well known. It’s a documented fact many an A-Lister has had to push beyond addictions, or push beyond the “You’ll never be more than a starving artist.” stage.

No great achievers in life, including Hollywood A-Listers, started out as successful. Victorious people in any field may go through ego-hammering training as well as career, health, and relationship challenges. Only those who are willing to take a burdensome risk will see a miraculous result. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others didn’t become successful by hanging on to safe, comfortable office jobs.

My book is full of cases of people who refused to accept “regular” lives and pushed themselves into greatness. They considered any setbacks to be lessons in how to begin again in a more practical manner. 

“Colonel” Harland Sanders went through many careers and areas of interest. Finally, he found his niche in creating a chicken recipe that would become famous throughout the world. 
Andrew Carnegie enjoyed moderate success in the railroad industry before he sensed that the heyday of trains was coming to a close. He chose to involve himself with a little-known metal: steel, particularly steel architecture. The fortune that he gained from this industry was worth billions in today’s money.

How our Setbacks are Opportunities in Disguise

Our disappointments may eventually lead us to our true passion. We don’t discover our strengths living a life of ease any more than we build physical strength by accepting an indolent life.

How have you built success on your “failures”?

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