The sweetest victory is the one that’s most difficult. The one that requires you to reach down deep inside, to fight with everything you’ve got, to be willing to leave everything out there on the battlefield—without knowing, until that do-or-die moment, if your heroic effort will be enough.
Society doesn’t reward defeat, and you won’t find many failures documented in history books; except those failures that become steppingstones to later success.
Many of us avoid the prospect of failure. In fact, we’re so focused on not failing that we don’t aim for success, settling instead for a life of mediocrity. When we do make missteps, we gloss over them, selectively editing out the miscalculations or mistakes in our life’s résumé.
To many in our success-driven society, failure isn’t just considered a non-option—it’s deemed a deficiency. Of all the things we are wrong about, this idea of error might well top the list. It is our meta-mistake: We are wrong about what it means to be wrong. Far from being a sign of intellectual inferiority, the capacity to err is crucial to human cognition.
Failure Is Life’s Greatest Teacher.
When we take a closer look at the great thinkers throughout history, a willingness to take on failure isn’t a new or extraordinary thought at all. Failure is as powerful a tool as any in reaching great success.
Failure and defeat are life’s greatest teachers [but] sadly, most people, and particularly conservative cultures, we don’t want to go there.Instead we choose to play it safe, to fly below the radar, repeating the same safe choices over and over again. We operate under the belief that if we make no waves, we attract no attention; no one will yell at us for failing because we generally never attempt anything great at which we could possibly fail (or succeed).
However, those who have been in the trenches, survived battle and come out on the other side have irreplaceable experience and perseverance.The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of ‘no fear.’
The prevailing school of thought in progressive mindsets is that great success depends on great risk , and failure is simply a common byproduct. Holders of such mindsets don’t mourn their mistakes but instead parlay them into future gains.
To do work well, to be successful, we have to deliver risky, edgy, breakthrough ideas, plans, presentations, advice and more. And we have to deliver all this fearlessly—without any fear whatsoever of failure, rejection or punishment.
The bottom line is, failure is part of any person willing to try. Living life to its fullest means that we have had failure. We read of people’s successes but we don’t often know of their failures. Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” Whether it’s learning to ride a bike, reading, parenting, relationships, work or sports, whenever we have a difference between what we want to happen and our reality, we can view it as failure.
When we start anything that we care about, there’s a chance that we’ll fail. Accepting failure as an option provides an opportunity to prepare for success as well. Preparing for failure begins with self-awareness. When we’re pragmatic and open with each failure there’s an opportunity for learning.