It’s time to look at the upside of failure. To no longer be scared of it, but embrace it and use it to help propel us forward.
As men, and as a society, we seem to have learned to avoid failure like it’s the plague. If a man is not achieving and persevering at all times, we are looked down upon, and after awhile, we look down on ourselves.
Failure is something that we need not fear but actually learn to embrace. The most successful men in history have failed over and over but there is an upside to it. They didn’t let failure stop them but used it as a valuable lesson and learned to overcome it in order to achieve their success.
It’s time to look at the upside of failure, to no longer be scared of it but embrace it and use it to help propel you forward. Here are four lessons men can learn from failure.
1. Failure Gets You One Step Closer To Success
When you look at the idea that the sooner you fail in something, the sooner you get to take the next step to real success. You’ll stop looking at failure from a sense of fear but embrace it as a step in the right direction.
Most are aware of Thomas Edison going through 1,000 failures before hitting on the light bulb and that prompting him to say, “I have not failed 10,000 times… I have succeeded in proving those 10,000 ways will not work.”
A recent example of this is with technology and entertainment company Rovio. They had attempted to make a hit game 52 different times. They hit it on the 53rd attempt creating Angry Birds.
2. Failure Leads To New Opportunities
I’m digging into my own past for this one. Growing up I played a pretty high level of baseball and played for my city. I had the opportunity to attend a Major League tryout camp and had a player card signed with a few professional teams.
Going into the next season, I expected a lot of things and went in second guessing so much that I ended up getting cut. This led me to having to figure out a lot of things but ultimately got me on the road to health and fitness as I loved training and improving myself. Realistically, there is such a low percentage to make it in professional sports but this failure got me on the road to be able to help thousands of people make a difference in their lives by improving their health and wellness.
3. Great People Have Failed Constantly
Any time that we fail, it’s hard to not feel like it’s the end of the world no matter how small the lack of achievement is. There is no better time than to look to some of the greats in history to realize we are in very, very good company.
Instead of focusing on our own failures recall a few of these successful people who probably at these points thought it was the end of the world, too. They clearly did not let failure stop them but used it to keep pushing forward to the point we all know who they are today.
Some of these are classic stories of failure but worth being aware of to inspire you to be a success:
- Bill Gates- Dropped out of Harvard and also started a failed computer business called Traf-O-Data. He said it was important “to heed the lessons of failure,” and we know how things ended up for him.
- Albert Einstein- Most everyone is familiar with this as he was expelled from school, refused admittance to Zurich Polytechnic School and his first seven attempts at the theory of relativity all failed. He recognized the importance of failure when he said “success is failure in progress.”
- J.K Rowling was rejected 12 times by different publishers for a little book about a boy wizard.
- The Beatles were rejected by Decca Records and told, “they have no future in show business.”
- Steven Spielberg dropped out of high school and was rejected three times when applying for film school.
4. Failure Develops Perseverance
One of the best examples of this is from NBA great Michael Jordan. You probably think I’m going to mention him being cut from his high school team but this in fact never happened. He just didn’t make the varsity team as a 15 year old but was placed on the JV team as the varsity spots were reserved for senior returners.
Jordan has however left us with one of the greatest insights in regards to embracing failure. It embodies the importance of failure, and using it to persevere, as well as anything you’ll ever hear and I want to leave things on this note:
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”