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How many of us started out in life hearing the words from peers, parents and professionals that failure is bad? Schools around the world predominantly are run on pass / fail systems. Is not failure a judgment placed on us by others? If so, then what judgment they pass on us is, in truth, none of our business! It all comes down to how we interpret the result.

The Oxford dictionary defines failure as a “lack of success in the attainment of”. Says who?

So long as progress is being made is it failure? Just ask Thomas Edison. After conducting thousands of experiments to invent the light bulb with no success, someone asked, “Why did he not give up?” as he had failed so many times. Edison was reported to reply, “I haven’t failed. I have learned a thousand ways of how not to invent the light bulb.” It all comes down to how you look at it.

At Time Retrievers we declare that there is only one failure – the failure to participate. In other words…to quit. Always aim to give 100%. Doing so ensures that you will maximise the learning along the way to your goal, target or dream. Participation requires you to apply yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. That way, you will hard wire your nervous system and deepen the learning by making it faster and more effective.

Recently, I met with a client and the topic of failure came up. Immediately he became argumentative. He did not believe in “failure”. To him, failure implied being a loser. When I asked him if he had ever failed at anything, he admitted he had. The next question I asked was if he had learned from the failure. He grudgingly admitted that he had. Had it helped him progress, to move toward success? As I asked this question he had a revelation – so long as one can apply the learning to move forward, then it is a success.  No matter what the situation is, if you give your all and learn something, then you have succeeded. That means you always win! You are a winner!

So what might be a better definition of failure….how about:

Focused   And     Insightful   Learning   Using   Real   Experience

Ask yourself what must happen for you to feel success? Focus on that! Repeatedly. When you do not get the result you intended, focus on the experience objectively and be persistent in discovering every bit of insight you can. Apply that insight in the future. You will then be a success. You have then learned to fail to succeed.

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Have a great week,
Peter