2012 09 27
Failure is a Better Teacher than Success
Henry Ford once said: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” It is hard to imagine that this famous historical figure ever failed in his lifetime. In fact, many of Ford’s innovative ideas were rejected many times – others, like the assembly line, are still used today. However, we do not hear of these failures, as newspapers often emphasize in big bold lettered words like “success” and “win”. Behind these fabulous stories of success lies a long journey of failures. If you want to truly be good at something, you must first fail a few times. Failure does not represent shame, deficit, or loss; in fact, it presents a chance for new opportunity and growth. Meaningful experiences are created from failures, experiences that strengthen a person’s determination. Failure also allows you to learn from your mistakes. For these reasons, failure is a better teacher than success.
What is one trait that a person must have to conquer great things in life? Determination. A person must have a firm and unwavering idea of what they want to achieve in order to attain their goal. Failure acts as a teacher by teaching you determination. This skill will enable you to overcome obstacles in the future as there’s always going to be ups and downs. Many notable figures throughout history demonstrate the continuous fighting spirit required to attain success. Our modern day life would be devoid of the contributions from these notable figures were it not for them emerging and
learning from their failures. Some of these influential people who once failed are Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, and even the beloved television personnel Oprah Winfrey. Another important figure to analyze is Charles Darwin, the scientist who proposed the theory of evolution. Darwin, being born into a family of physicians, was naturally expected by his father to go into the same field. His father had high hopes that his son would follow in his footsteps. However, he and his father did not share the same dream. Darwin gave up on having a medical career and instead wanted to focus on research. For this behavior, his father often chastised him for being lazy and too dreamy often chastised him, as being a researcher at his time was hard to find work in, require long periods of time, and low paying. Darwin had once written, “I was considered by all my masters and my father, a very ordinary boy, rather below the common standards of intellect.” Though those who were closest to him considered him as a failure, he still persisted on being a researcher. From this failure, he overcame the obstacle and gained the trait of being determined which helped him later on in life with his theory. Continuing on to his research, he came up with the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution involves Natural selection – that when there is over-reproduction, only those that are genetically suited for the environment can continue to survive, and this continues at a slow rate over a long period of time. This theory, though controversial to this day, is being taught in all science courses. Nevertheless, back in Darwin’s time, Britain was still very religious. The church had a lot of power and influence on society. Darwin’s theory contradicted the church’s view, as Darwin states that humans have a common ancestor with apes. On the other hand, the church believed that God made people in his own image, and as a result, the majority of people did too. He and his theory
were ridiculed, as before he refined his theory, he did not have the evidence he needed to connect all living organisms heretically (now found as DNA). To deny Christianity at the time would destroy of his relationship with his beloved religious wife, as well as his social standing – and even still, it would’ve been impossible to get very many people to accept his. This is...