Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Law of Failure People have a lot of misconceptions about failure. John Keats said, “Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true.” Keats is referring to the “Law of Failure.” It states that your level of success is directly proportional to how often you fail. Everyone, at some point, deals with failure. If we let failing at something defeat us, we’re in for a succession of depleting experiences. Famed basketball player, Michael Jordan has an interesting perspective on failure: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” The best basketball player ever has missed so much, has failed so many times, yet his talent, hard work and perseverance made him a great success. Jordan is clear that his failures were the building blocks of his success. Thomas Edison was also learned in the art of failure. He discovered early in life that failure is the road to success. After 50,000 attempts to invent the light bulb, he felt he was close to his goal, because now he knew 50,000 ways that didn’t work. Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, was also no stranger to failure. Watson ran afoul of the antitrust laws and had been fired as the sales manager of the National Cash Register Co. At 40 years of age, he was under jail sentence, and without home or job and with little money. Yet, even with this extraordinary pressure, Watson emerged to establish one of the most successful, innovative businesses in America. Falling down helps us learn to pick ourselves up again. This is a valuable skill, if you plan on succeeding. Decide how you want your life to be. Then create a plan for where you are right now, knowing that it will change as you grow. Then begin your journey with the first step. Don’t let rejection, failure or falling down stop you. If one phase of your plan doesn’t work, step back and reassess. Taking time daily to consider where you are and where you’re going, clears your mind and creates room for new ideas. Concentrate on your desire. Don’t get attached to how you achieve it. You can follow Edison’s example of discovering ways it won’t work, so that you move closer to ways that do work. Join the ranks of Jordan, Edison, Watson and many others by sticking to your goals regardless of what happens, thereby turning “failure” into a meaningless, obsolete word. So the key is not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up and keep going. The only real failure is not trying at all. _____________________________________