Failing to Succeed

Today, Bill Gates is one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. However, the road to his wealth was not a smooth one. He has dealt with his own share of failure before achieving the success we now admire and celebrate today. He had a great vision and dropped out of Harvard University to start a company called Traf-O-Data which failed terribly. But this failure did not stop him from dreaming anew with Microsoft, a world-known multi-billion dollar company. By allowing himself to fail, Bill discovered ways to excel.

Everywhere we go, we hear about success. The world tells us that failure is unacceptable; that it means we are not good enough or didn't work hard enough. We are programmed to hide our failures in shame but in reality no one gets good at their first try. It takes failing and getting back up again, sometimes multiple times to accomplish any goal. Denis Waitley, an American motivational speaker, writer and consultant said, “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” The fear of failure is the reason why many of us retreat and never chase after our dreams. The author and YouTube content creator, John Green asks a poignant question: "What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?"

Failure is the stepping stone that gets us closer to our dreams. Let's face it, the sooner we figure out what won't work, the quicker we can start on the things that will. Expertise and success is not a one day wonder. It's a gradual evolution. The concept of overnight success is a myth. Just because we can't see the failures of folks who are successful today doesn't mean there were none. It is through failure that we can begin to see what we can improve, what went wrong, and what we can do better.

Failure is what separates the wheat from the chaff. It's so easy to give up if what we are chasing after is not really that important to us. When a goal has a strong "why", failure simply motivates us to find other ways to meet those goals. Failure acts as a valuable tool that guides us towards the true purpose for our lives. As we overcome obstacles and break hindering habits, we emerge much stronger than we were before, equipped with success disciplines that inform other areas of our lives.

Failing and getting to the other side to success allows us to create the best versions of ourselves. Truth is if we are not failing, we aren't making much progress. Real growth can never come without failure. It's a package deal. If we want to grow and achieve success, we must be prepared to fail. There is no other way. Failure makes us grow and it makes us better. Taking failures personally and sitting on the sidelines watching life pass us by is definitely not the answer. Using the words of Zig Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker, "Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

So, let's embrace our failures, learn from them and move forward undefeated.

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