By Qadar Khan
Recently, a friend of mine called me to share his untold woes of failures generally in life and particularly in his relationship.
I tried to calm him down and held a brief session of around 30 minutes with him. At the end of the session, he was not only feeling cool, but found himself rejuvenated with new vigour, high resolve, fresh zeal and a deep sense of enthusiasm.
In this article I am going to share with you the tips that were delivered during the session.
I am neither a psychotherapist nor a qualified counsellor, nor do I claim to be any expert in psychiatric disciplines. However, I do have a zeal for positive living, a spirit to share and an emotion to care.
Whether, you suffered a setback in your business, or failed an exam, or may be had a bad time in relationships, the common place advice here will go a great deal in rethinking or revisiting your failure and build upon it the foundation of a real success lying ahead.
1. A Shift in Your Personal Paradigm
In simple words, it means you need to change your way of looking at life.
As the saying goes “thinking precedes action”. So any action you take reflects what is in your mind. Your mind is the store house of both negative and positive thoughts, whereas, your actions are the high-street display shops for the store houses.
What do you want to display in your shop from the store house?
Wearing colored glasses changes the word around. Yes, true, it does not change the world outside, but it does change how you look at the world or, at least, how you see the world.
We take many things in life as for granted. This is because we have been programmed for it. We need to reprogram our minds.
Come out of the den of negative thinking and explore the world of positivity. The grass is always greener.
There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Look for it or else you will die and get rotten inside your own tunnel.
2. A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps
It is an old saying we learnt at the primary school, right? Yes, do not make it a cliché. It conveys very deep meaning.
Whom do you spend your time with? The people you spend your time with are the people who deeply influence you.
Look around. Are your workmates, friends, clients etc. affect you in a positive way? If yes, keep them. If not you need a change! Yes, seriously, man!
Do not get me wrong, though! I do not mean to say goodbye to your old and gold good friends. Conduct an honest evaluation. There could be one of the following three scenarios i.e. people who surround you may affect you in the following three ways:
- They are keeping you as your are. No learning, no progress, no knowledge or things related to your growth.
- They are taking you down.
- They are taking you high.
In case of 1 and 2 you need a change. If you fall within 3, keep it.
Remember this is the logical sequence of your shift in paradigm. If this is not happening you are still rotting in the old den.
This also applies to your workplace. If you are under constant pressure, given unrealistic targets, not appreciated for your efforts, no progression etc. then, maybe, you need to switch.
Otherwise, you stay stagnant without any chance for personal growth and career progression. Let us put it simply:
If you are not growing, you are dying.
3. Life is A Marathon and Not a Sprint
Farsighted people acts like marathoners not sprinters. They plan and prepare. Their run is long and slow. They focus themselves on long term. Unlike sprinters, they run a longer race.
Life is not one single success or failure. It is a series of failures and successes. If you do fail sometimes, it does not mean all is lost.
I remember a quote about a continuous effort towards the success. I do not know who said but I love it. Here it is.
“If you break a stone on the 20th stroke, it does not mean that the first stroke was useless.”
Success comes in stages. Just like strong building can only be erected on strong foundations, strong success often is the result of failures.
4. The Glass is Half Full
When I was a college students, I would debate around on the other side of the fence i.e. the glass is half empty. Shelly’s emotional poems, Tennyson’s red toothed and ugly clawed nature, Hardy’s Tess and the Mayor of Caster Bridge were my favourite readings.
As time went on, I changed. In other words, a shift in my personal paradigm occurred. wink
I know all is not good. There is evil, injustice, discrimination and… Often all around us. The only thing we can do about it is either to act whatever we can to bring about a change or at least contribute towards change in our capacity. The least we can do is to look at our own problems, and those of others, from the perspective of seeking solutions to them.
Mourning over the dead will not bring them back to life. We feel their loss but we have to live on our lives, too. I hope you have already cracked it.
The best example to that each failure is the stepping stone of success is looking at kids. They fail all the times, don’t they? Yes, they do. They fail while learning to speak. How do they pronounce words? How do they spell? How many times do they fall and get bruises while learning to ride a bike?
Each time a small child tries to stand up or take their first step, they fall and fail. But each time they fall they take a step forward to standing, then walking and finally, running.
6. Failure is an Investment
What do you get first when you invest? Nothing. You just part with your money. Once you investment is mature, you reap the reward.
Failures are like investment. However, it is very important to note that we must learn from our failure. We simply do not appreciate failure for the sake of failure. It is the lesson learnt that matters.
If your mind has been programed in a particular paradigm, you need a shift. We need to reprogram our mind that it is not only good to fail, rather failure is critical for our personal development and growth.
7. The Most Successful People Failed and Failed and Failed
It may be surprising for you when you come to know that the most successful people in the world failed not once but many times. Each time they failed, a steppingstone of their success was created.
Although, the list of such people is long and it is out of the scope of this article to mention and quote most of them, here are few quotes from some of the most successful people who built their success on repeated failures.
He has been acclaimed as the world’s best basketball player. He says:
“I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career, I have lost almost 300 games. I have been trusted 26 times to take the game winning shot but I missed it each time. I have failed over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
Oprah Winfrey TV Shows Star
Who does not know her? The famous and one of the most popular and talked about TV Shows rocking star. She failed not once but many times. In her paradigm, there is no such thing as failure. She does not believe in failure. She calls it a process of enjoyment.
Thomas Watson Founder of IBM
IBM is one of the greatest names in the computer industry. Its founder Thomas Watson says that he knows a simple formula of success. His formula is “double your rate of failure”. Failure is not the enemy of success. No, not at all. You either get discouraged or learn your lessons.
Thomas further asserts that success resides on the far side of mistakes, so if you want to succeed go and make mistakes.
Barack Obama, President of the United States
The first ever black American president! How did he get there to make a mark on the world. Through failures!
Barak thinks that making a mark on the world is not easy as in that case everyone would have done it. Be patient and committed and face the failures along the way, yes plenty of failures. The real test is not to avoid failures. The real test is:
- Do you let it harden?
- Do you let it shame you into inaction?
- Do you learn from it?
- Do you to choose to persevere?
This quote is really beautiful. I love it so much that I will quote here in Allen’s words:
“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”
Sir Winston Churchill
Churchill thinks success is an ability to face multiple failures but hold on to your enthusiasm. In his own words:
“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Failure is nature’s plan. It prepares you for great responsibilities. Every fall comes with a rise.
H. Staley Judd
Stanley calls failure as personal growth. If you are not failing you are not growing. Stanley further asserts that it is OK to fail, don’t be afraid of your failing and take you next challenge.
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
J. K. Rowling
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison
I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.
We have forty million reasons for failure, but not a single excuse.
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.
In summary, do not feel dilapidated or rundown. What you lost or failed at is not the end of the world. The most successful people in the world have failed many times, but they did not succumb to the pains of failure. They did not see their defeat as an irreparable loss.
No failure can hinder you from achieving your goals. Failure is not a stumbling block which can thwart your objectives. It is the way you think. It is the way you feel. It is perseverance, commitment, resolve and indomitable will and indefatigable courage.
Embrace the spirit of unwavering thinking, resolute determination, unshakable faith, absolute tenacity, relentless effort, unfaltering perseverance and you will always see success impatiently waiting for you.
In the words of John Milton:
What though the field be lost?
All is not lost—the unconquerable will
And the indomitable courage.
Please do not hesitate to participate in the discussion in comments section below.