“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
– Michael Jordan
Success Is Rarely a Straight Line
Shortly after graduating from college, I focused on building my professional career. With that sharp laser focus, my drive for monetary gain was at its peak.
To make my dream into reality, I prioritized my job as the most important thing. This meant spending most of my time at the office. In addition, I would study occupation related literature in my free time.
Intensely centering life around work, I slowly compromised other aspects such as health, relationships, and personal interests.
But health was the first to be visible.
After just a year and a half of living an unbalanced lifestyle, I gained twenty pounds of fat. Physically, I would feel tired and sluggish. As for my emotional wellness, I had difficulty thinking clearly and lacked the ability to coherently articulate my thoughts.
Having had enough, I decided to take a stand and committed myself to a lasting change.
I wanted to get back to living a healthy lifestyle.
When I began my health transformation journey, my primary goal was to have six-pack abs. Therefore, I researched and watched endless videos of the best core exercises.
Afterward, I would do them on a regular basis. However, after a few months of performing the suggested workouts, the results were nowhere to be seen.
In my eyes, I had failed.
Despite the lack of progress, I didn’t give up. Holding onto the momentum, I persisted by asking for help from friends and coworkers.
Fortunately, they recommended me to a strict program. And through intensively following it, I was able to make steady advancements and eventually returned to my former weight.
To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement.
Looking back on my passage, I had many roadblocks along the way. My path to success was not a straight line. I had to endure failures in the process.
But those setbacks were necessary as they taught me what I was doing incorrectly. In effect, I learned what not to do.
Those challenges forced me to try new techniques and find solutions. And over the course of my life thus far, I have failed numerous times. They greatly outweigh the moments I have succeeded.
In romantic relationships, I have been turned down by more women than those who have reciprocated my interest. As for work and business, the number of unsuccessful projects far exceeds those which are victorious.
Every day, I fail.
But that’s a positive experience. Because without unsuccessful attempts, I’m not trying hard enough. Only by overcoming obstacles can I become a wiser and stronger person.
Therefore, regardless of the lack of positive outcomes, I keep going. In defeat, I learn to make adjustments. As a result, I can fail forward.
Repeating this process daily, I will experience continuous growth.
Learn from Your Defeats
As you go through life, the inevitable failures don’t have to force you to a complete halt. With a growth mindset, you can view setbacks as opportunities for improvement.
In moments of defeat, ask yourself:
“What can I learn from this mistake?”
“How can I become better so this won’t happen again?”
Digging deep in every difficult situation, you can find the answers to your immediate problems. Using what you think is a potential solution, you can tackle the obstacle head-on.
However, there will be unavoidable times no matter what you try, nothing seems to work.
In the midst of struggle, it’s easy to give up. But it’s in those moments you must maintain persistence and march forward.
Sometimes in order for us to break through, we must fall backward so we can catapult ourselves far ahead. It’s similar to pulling back the rubber on a slingshot to produce the energy required for a powerful strike.
Fail Successfully Forward
To have perspective, understand that everyone has experienced failure at one time or another. Otherwise, they exhibit one or both of the following traits:
Not being fully honest with themselves.
Didn’t try hard enough.
Failure and success go hand-in-hand and it is our greatest teacher.
It shows us what didn’t work. That way we can learn what not to do it next time.
No matter what setbacks you’re facing, realize that someone else also has been in your exact situation before. You are not alone in your fight.
Understand that same person was able to conquer the identical obstacle under comparable circumstances. Therefore, if that individual can do it, then why can’t you?
You must realize what one man can achieve, you can as well, and more much!
However, when we’re in the middle of a crisis, it can be extremely challenging to appreciate the current disaster. That’s because it takes acute self-awareness to take a step back and analyze the situation objectively.
But fast forward a few years from now when the turmoil is long over, you’ll be thankful for that defining moment. It is through crushing the unique catastrophe that has allowed you to become more powerful.
Now viewing failure with that positive light, you can use it as fuel to propel yourself into success.
“Failure” is inevitable. As an integral part of life, it teaches us invaluable lessons.
Although success leaves clues, it’s through defeats we learn the most.
If everything works perfectly the first time, we wouldn’t acquire the strength, resilience, and determination necessary to move forward despite setbacks.
For every collapse, we have the opportunity to adapt and grow from it.
In return, we gain vital wisdom and experience by overcoming our utmost challenges to become the most powerful versions of ourselves.
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