Thomas Alva Edison is regarded as the greatest inventor of all time. Edison invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long lasting light bulb. He holds 1,093 patents in the United States alone. He also holds many patents in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. In the process of making the light bulb, Edison made over 1,000 unsuccessful attempts before he got it right.
When a reporter asked Edison “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?”
Edison replied “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Michael Jordan is regarded as the most successful basketball player of all time.
He was one of the most marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.
Jordan won a lot of individual awards.
In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN.
Here’s what Jordan said about failure:
“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.”
You’ve probably read tons of success stories. You’ve read about people creating their own businesses that enabled them to quit their jobs and live their dreams.
So you thought “why not you?” Yes, you can do it. But after you experienced some failures, you begin to think if your goal is even worth the effort. You begin to lose that key believe in yourself. You begin to doubt your talent and abilities. Self-doubt kicks in. Depression kicks in. And it looks like your world is going downhill. The harsh truth is you’ve failed. And you don’t know what to do next. You’re running out of ideas. Your friends are not picking calls. Or, maybe, you’re not picking your friends’ calls. You’re not in the mood to speak with anyone.
THERE’S NO SUCCESS WITHOUT FAILURE
Only a few successful people can say they haven’t failed in life. Think about, if great people like Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan could say failure was the key to their success, then it certainly means failure is just what you need. A person who makes no mistakes, or in other words, is afraid of making mistakes is unlikely to make anything at all. Don’t be deceived by most success stories out there. Most people will tell you about the beautiful and good things they have achieved. They will leave out the disappointments, failures, hard work and dedication that came before success. It’s okay to fail.
Failure is inevitable if you want to achieve big goals and dreams in life. It was failures that produced the success stories of people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Walt Disney.
Failure is good because you learn more from failure than success. You’re unlikely to repeat a mistake that led to a failure.
Failure makes you stronger. It’s what separates the weak from the strong.
Failure lets you discover new paths and opportunities you wouldn’t have discovered if you hadn’t failed.
Failure also makes success much sweeter.
So, it’s okay to fail.
THE FIRST STEP TO TAKE AFTER FAILURE
Okay what’s the next thing after a big failure you weren’t expecting? Is it time to throw in the towel? No. It’s time to pick yourself up and start all over again. But before you start all over again, you need to recognize the damage caused by a failure and limit it. This could be apologizing to someone you hurt by saying something thoughtless or unkind. This could be selling those things you no longer need. This could be stepping down from a position you should never have taken in the first place.
Whatever the failure is, ensure you take the appropriate steps to limit its damage.
LEARN FROM YOUR FAILURES
The worst thing to do is to repeat the same thing that led to your previous failures. When you repeat the same thing, then it’s no longer a failure. It becomes a mistake. A mistake is doing something for the second time when you should have done better. A mistake is also making a misguided attempt because of carelessness, selfishness or arrogance. You should reevaluate your plan after you made a mistake. Something might be wrong with your plan that needs fixing. It’s time to consider any potential setbacks and figure out a way to tackle them before they surface.
You need to reevaluate your preparation too. Do you have the necessary infrastructure and resources? If not, you may need to acquire those resources and infrastructure, or partner with someone who does.
Do you have the skill that is required to achieve a goal? Consider if your current skills and knowledge are enough to achieve a particular goal.
Do you have the time? Sometimes, the reason why you failed at something could be because you’re not giving it enough time that it needs.
You may also need to reevaluate your execution. They might be something wrong with how you’re currently doing things. All these things may need fixing before you start all over again. You have to learn from your failures and ensure that you’re well-prepared before you move again.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE SMARTER THAN YOU
At this point, you may need smart people to guide you and tell you things you should avoid. There are a lot of smart people out there who can tell you exactly what to do to become successful and achieve your goals. These smart people I’m talking about here could even connect you with smart people like them.
How can you surround yourself with smart people? Smart people are everywhere. But before you can be able to connect with smart people, you must become smart yourself.
Here are the things you should do to become smart:
- Read a lot
- Learn how to build rapport
- Learn better communication skills
- Dress better
- Study table manners
- Become eloquent
- Learn how to dictate your voice and pause at the proper moments
- Become well versed in a plethora subjects
- Learn how to become a friend
- Connect with more people
- Start to see eye to eye
- Leverage LinkedIn to build your connections
You may be wondering why you need all these traits. Well, it’s because they make you smart. Smart people attract smart people. As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. By connecting with more and more smart people, you’ll achieve more success and experience less failures.