Coping with Failure
Another seeming paradox of life - failure. On the one hand, failure causes distress which, in turn, causes more failure. As failures mount up a person tends to become discouraged and cynical - traits which promote even more failure. On the other hand, failure is the only sure route to success. This may sound contradictory, but it is not. The key lies in how a person copes with failure. Attitude and perspective makes all the difference between failure leading to either more failure or eventual success. Thomas Edison was fond of telling people how he failed his way to success. He tried over a thousand elements and their combinations before discovering the combination that worked. What separates people like Edison from the masses is summed up in these three statements: 1) He believed he would succeed,
2) He was persistent, and would not quit, and
3) He learned from each failure, and succeeded by the process of elimination. Instead of accepting failure as a personal defeat as most people are wont to do, success-oriented people consider failure as an opportunity to learn which should be embraced. Failure presents us with opportunities to learn and gain wisdom and experience. And these are the traits for success. If you doubt the validity of this, ask yourself how you ever learned to do anything. You weren't born knowing how to walk, talk, or ride a bicycle. You learned by "trial and error". Eventually, through failures, learning and wisdom you have become (presumably) a relative expert in such things. Superstars like Michael Jordan became exceptional because they practiced more intently, and focused long and hard on every failure, learning all they could. They believe, they persist and they learn from their failures. You, to, can become one of the "greats" in your chosen field if you simply apply these same three traits with as much passion. Not all failure is beneficial, however. There are some "automatic failure mechanisms" (AFM's) that...
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