“Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved.” – Lao Tzu
You see, true success is met with previous failures. People that have fallen down and then learned what not to do will usually go onto to create real success. And what about those that had early success? Well, studies have shown it not to transfer over to future success. They never developed the resilience that is needed to overcome challenges and to truly succeed.
It seems that in society that only about 2% of the population will fall within the realm of true success. They are the ones that have learned to overcome the odds and failures to go onto massive success in their lives. In fact, they are the ones that are taking advantage of opportunities during bad times when others have given up.
Take the Great Depression. While it was certainly the worst economic disaster ever it also created more millionaires than any time in history. Hewlett-Packard (HP) started their business with only $538 during this time. Colonel Harlan Sanders started his restaurant business during this time. And those are but two of many examples.
I’m going to give you 5 steps that you can use immediately to take advantage of your struggles and failure that will help propel you to success.
1. Embrace your failures and struggles. Look at them as an opportunity to learn. This is important so that you won’t do the same mistake again. Thomas Edison was quoted as saying, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” He tested thousands of different filaments as well as gases. Eventually he found the right combination that worked.
2. Look for opportunities that may be embedded in your failures.Often times, what may be seen as a failure may actually be an opportunity in disguise. Napoleon Hill once stated, “Opportunity often comes in disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” 3M chemist, Spence Silver, was working on a new type of glue when he mixed different chemicals together that led to glue that didn’t stick very well. Instead of looking at this as strictly a failure, he looked for the opportunity within it. Eventually this lousy sticking glue became what is known as Post-It-Notes. He collaborated with Art Fry to come up with the concept of these sticky notes.
3. Go after more failures. This sure goes against the reasoning of most people. Again, it’s how you learn. And where innovation truly takes place. In sales, this could mean the difference in what you earn. In business, it could mean testing out different marketing strategies, rather than what your particular industry has always used. Go against the grain of your industry in business processes. Be different.
4. Create a mastermind. This is the use of 2 or more people who will be able to help you look at any failure from a different perspective. They may even suggest a little tweak here or there. The synergy from this process helps to overcome failures and look at the positive. That’s also another reason for a mastermind group, the support they would offer.
5. Keep focused on your mission. Create a dynamic plan of action towards it that incorporates failure. This type of planning continues to evolve with every single mistake you make. This mission stays the same, just the way you’d go after it may change. Failure creates better ways to getting there.
Just because you failed at something doesn’t mean it defines you as a failure. Instead, it will help define you when you find ways of overcoming them. Being resilient is a trait that will become even more important today than it has ever been. You will become an opportunity maker. I wish you success as you overcome failures in your life. Be happy for them.
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Bob Choat works as a Peak Performance Coach & Trainer and is focused on people in every industry reach a higher level in their lives. Call 818-620-2494 for coaching/training