Failure is My Friend
We all make one very big decision in life that has a huge impact on how much we enjoy life. The decision: Will failure be our friend or enemy?
Failure is inevitable. We all make mistakes. We will always make mistakes. Bill Vaughn says, “In the game of life it's a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season."
Only a fool claims he has not made mistakes, or explains them away as not his fault. The wise realize that failure is always a part of life, and accepts failure as a friend, and learns everything possible from his new friend. William Bolitho said, "The most important thing in life is not to capitalize on our gains. Any fool can do that. The really important thing is to profit from your losses. That requires intelligence; and makes the difference between a man of sense and a fool."
You remember the story of Thomas Edison failing 5000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb. You remember it as an inspiring story regularly cited in self-help literature. Can you remember exactly what he had said when the young reporter asked him about how he could continue to try when he had failed SO MANY times? He said, "Young man, I have not failed 5,000 times. I have successfully discovered 5,000 ways that do not work and I do not need to try them again."
Failures are not only unavoidable, but also essential to success. When we make failure a friend then failure becomes a teacher – teaching us how to change direction and try new ways to do thing. So a failure is essentially an opportunity and can be put to practical use, if only we have the right mindset to treat it as such.
Writer Sydney Harris said, "A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser wants to be considered an expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows."
Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." Failure is never final unless we choose to make it so. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down. You NEVER fail until you stop trying.
“If you are not making mistakes, you’re not really doing anything with your life.”
Larry McElvain, Founder, Discovery Counseling Center
November 2, 2020