Failing Successfully!

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life. And that’s why I succeed!” – Michael Jordan

One of the sharpest contrasts of paradigms between the super successful and the near do wells or outright failures is their perspective about failing. The contrast is so alarming, yet many don’t know. In my little sojourn and study, I have discovered quite amazingly that the rich and the poor, the great and the average, the skilled and he amateur,  have different philosophies about failing. If your philosophy can change, then you have indeed begun your journey into the school of success. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. You are not more than your way of thinking. Read these words, and let them transform your thinking, changing the way you see failing and rejection has the capacity to transform your life in 3 months.

Failing is one of the best things that can happen to a human being! Rejection is be most powerful motivation tool on earth! Getting a “No!” from your prospects or friends is the best self development training in the world! Failing is golden! The act of falling short, or missing expectations, of not meeting up with the desired results or getting woeful results is precious. You need to motivate yourself to fail, get yourself the opportunity of being rejected, go into places you’ll hear no’s more often, for success is elusive to those who have no history of failing! Failure must never be a place that defines you, but you must be conversant with failing. Like Thomas Watson one time MD of IBM said, “I have discovered, that in order to double my success rate, I simply double my failure rate!”.  You are not ready to succeed, until you are prepared to fail 🙂

Listen to me, it’s not your potential that counts. It’s not how skilled you are that counts, it’s not even who you know. The greatest change that can happen to you will only happen, when your paradigm shifts about failing. Once that shifts, all the other elements begin to fall into place.  In the football match of failing vs succeeding, the person that wins is not the person with the most goals, one goal from succeeding is enough to wipe away all the memories of failing. It is not who scores most that wins, it’s who scores last!  Do you really want to be success? Do you really want to be great? Do you want to be wealthy and loved? Then you must ready to fail, but not be characterized a failure, you must be ready to fall, and get up again and again and again. You must be ready to try, and in case you don’t succeed, try again.

It’s strange how we quote many great men and yet refuse to subscribe to their principles. It’s amazing how we listen to their stories with inspired awe, and yet refuse to leave our comfort zones. What these people did, you can do as well, you only need to change your perception of failing. You need to learn to fail and fail forward. Don’t be deceived by reading peoples current lives, and thinking they were successful from the word “Go”. They weren’t, it’s just interesting that life covers the tracks left behind by successful men and women and makes it difficult to follow. All the struggle and down times is till you succeed. So keep at it!

Abraham Lincoln became one of the greatest presidents America ever had after a string of failed attempts at different things. Even though his documented catalog of never quitting from failed attempts is being thrown out as not totally true, it is inspiring that a man would go through all that and end successful. He lost his mother, lost his job, lost his girl friend, lost money, lost elections and ended up becoming the president of the United States of America. Doesn’t it sound exciting that it doesn’t matter how much you lost, what you lost, and how badly you lost, if it ends up putting you on the sit of honor and power? We all share with excitement the story of Thomas Edison whose failures with the light bulb was his education of how it ought not to be done? That are rooms are well lit today, and we can watch televisions today, listen to radio today, and can plug anything to electricity today, because someone somewhere did not consider himself to delicate to have the temporary experience of failure!

I have failed before, that is why I am succeeding today. It has been bad before, that’s why it’s better than good today. Light is of no value if  there is no darkness to dispel. Failure can damage you, if you allow it, but it can shape you if you take charge. My failures have been instrumental to my successes. My dissatisfaction with my past, has allowed me to restrategize for my future. The exams I didn’t do well in, made me feel rejected and sad, but they strengthened my resolve to say “Never again!” The “No’s” that I have heard have helped me to redevelop my message. There is nothing that powers up a human being more than the feeling of rejection, of not being part of the group of being second class. If you allow the failure to become your tool, it can propel you to greater heights.

Stop allowing the fear of failure to intimidate you, embrace failure as an experience development tool, embrace rejection as a motivator, embrace “No” as a self help self development tool, and watch if your life will not transform. Watch if you will not have new stories, watch if the quality of your life will not improve. Stop sitting on your butt and hoping for the day things will change, make a move, and let God direct you. It’s totally stressful trying to steer a parked car… start the ignition, change the gears, throttle, and steer left or right as you go. The car light rarely sees more than 200 meters into the night, you won’t see it all when you start to move, but you’ll figure it out as you go. He that moves and asks for direction seldom gets lost. May you fail forward, may you fail successfully!


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