The Relationship Between Success and Failure
Do you believe that success is the opposite of failure? That’s exactly what most of us have been conditioned to think. If someone makes an all out effort to achieve some goal but doesn’t quite make it, what have they done?
Have they failed?
Well, that all depends on their concept (and yours) of success and failure. For some, the result alone is what determines if we belong in the winner’s circle or not. If life were a single, all or nothing event, perhaps we could afford to be that narrow minded. But that is not the way life works.
Life has a learning curve
Have you ever accomplished anything worthwhile that only required one attempt to get it right? Have you ever seen a baby go from crawling to walking without ever falling down in the process? Falling down is part of learning to walk because there’s a learning curve.
“You got to learn how to fall, before you learn to fly” -Paul Simon
This means that most successes will be preceded by a series attempts that didn’t quite produce the results we were hoping for. With that in mind, it seems like the course of wisdom is to develop a healthy respect for whole learning process, not just the final result.
Learning is succeeding
Anytime we learn from our efforts we are in the process of succeeding. Each lesson brings us closer to our intended result. Calling the learning process “failing” is not only inaccurate, it’s also emotionally discouraging.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” -Thomas Edison
If we allow ourselves to become discouraged during the process we may give up right before we reach our goal. How sad it would be to go through the learning curve and then never experience the benefits of our new knowledge.
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