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How to Use Failure and Create Massive Success
Finding Success - What is it?
In 2003, I was looking for financial success in business but ended up losing everything I had when I developed a form of cancer known as Hodgkin's disease. Luckily this form of cancer is very curable but it was still devastating both emotionally and financially.
I was 31 years old and had spent the previous year and a half investing every cent into a business that I hoped would eventually give me time freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I am not a person that likes to have a boss or anyone telling me that I have to do something a certain way especially if I don't agree with the agenda behind it.
When I was a 30 year old, I had a belief that if something needed to get done, then all I would have to do is work "28 hours" a day and everything would work itself out. After all, like many people, I was taught that hard work is the key to finding success. That is only a half truth.
If working hard was the only key to finding success, then single parents working three jobs to support their children would the most successful and wealthy individuals on the planet. Of course, many times these people are barely making enough money to get by. They all have dreams and desires but their situation in life tends to dictate that there is little they can do.
Other times, people view success as luck. The "over night" success is glorified and encouraged by the media through game shows where the winners find fame and glory, state lottery jackpots with themes like "you need to be in it to win it" and celebrities that seem to have everything anybody would ever want.
After I got sick, my mother bought me a book called, "They Went Broke!?: Bankruptcies and Money Disaster of the Rich & Famous." It tells the story of business people, sports figures, actors and politicians who were either once rich and lost it all or were dirt poor and became wealthier than they could have ever imagined.
I read this book and the underlying theme I found was that those who were into something purely for the money eventually lost everything. However, those who had an underlying passion about what it was they were pursuing didn't care about set backs or failures. Instead, they used their failures as learning experiences to press forward towards their vision.
The fact is that in order to find success, failure is inevitable and impossible to avoid. It is possible to learn from the mistakes of others to help to make the journey easier, however finding our own personal success still involves trial and tribulation.
The problem is that failure in our culture is chastised and those who fail are labeled as "Losers" with a big "L" attached to their forehead.
My argument is that this stigma about failure is created by those who are trying to keep everybody else down. It is much easier to stay on top when others are hovering in their comfort zone instead of reaching to find success in their own lives.
You can agree or disagree with me on this statement, however it is an absolute truth that in order to find success, you will need to experience failure. Therefore, you will want to have a burning passion for what it is you are pursuing so that when failures occur, you are unphased so that you can continue on your journey to find success.
Finding success doesn't have to be just about money either. It could be pursuing any cause or purpose that you love.
Not everyone will see your vision. However, to find success to change your life and the world we live in, you will need need to understand failures role in the process.
They All Went Broke!?
What can Maslov teach us about finding success?
The Five "A's" of Failure
- Avoid Failure - Avoiding failure is where 80% of the population lives. It can become comfortable to avoid failing where instead of trying to find success. As long as your basic needs of food, shelter and water are filled you can live vicariously through the success and failures of others. Reality television and the celebrity culture we are fed through the media is a perfect outlet for people to see others fail and succeed from the comfort of home. To find success, you must find something inside yourself that says "Failure is OK" so that you can move to the second "A" of failure through which you can find success.
- Accept Failure - Welcome to the 20% of people who understand that in order to find success, it is OK to accept failure as part of the journey. There is a saying that "cream always rises to the top" and in accepting the inevitable failures you will encounter as you pursue your dreams will lift you higher. However, this is only the first step in the process of finding success. Those who accept failure as a necessity to finding success are still "on the fence" and can easily revert back to avoiding failure altogether. Stepping out of the "comfort zone" is hard to do and others we interact with socially can make a person feel like they need to stop. When we look at the hierarchy of needs, social acceptance is an important part of what makes humans happy. If we see those we interact with start to question our actions, we can second guess our actions and seek safety again. To find success it is important to pus through to the next "A" of failure to find success.
- Accumulate Failures - The more you are able to try new things, the more you will inevitably fail. This is the growth phase of pursuing your passion and finding success on the other side. Children inherently understand the concept of accumulating failures in order to succeed. Just watch a 1 year old stand up and fall repeatedly as they learn to walk. The 1 year old not only accepts that they need to fail in order to become an expert walker, they also realize that they need to accumulate those failures. It is lucky for all of us that we realize this a children or we would be a world of crawlers unwilling to fall down.
- Accelerate Failures - As a child accumulates failures, they see progress and accelerate their failures in order to find success on the other side. As an adult, we learn from the failures we accumulate which bring us closer to our goals. The faster we try new ideas, the faster we will know what doesn't work and what does allowing us to find success faster. When we find success, those who criticized our efforts and failures in the beginning, start to tell us that "they knew we could do it all along." This is farther than most people ever reach in their quest for success, however there is one more phase that can create even more of it in your life.
- Accelerate Exponentially - Very few people are able to accelerate their failures exponentially. In order to do this, you need to have such a burning passion for what you are working for that you are able to enroll others into your quest for success. This is what leadership is. Organizations have multiple members who are enrolled into a system where each individual's purpose is to accomplish the organizations agenda. The more individuals in the organization working towards that goal, the more failures will happen as not every effort will pay off. However, more failures by more individuals will inevitably lead to more success. Innovative companies will look at hundreds of ideas before going to market with the ones they chose. The largest charities have numerous agents involved in fundraising activities. Some fail but when enough succeed, the organization becomes stronger and is able to move towards their goals.
To find success and have the life you desire, it is necessary to fail. Eliminate the idea that failing makes you a loser. Once you accept failure, it doesn't mean that failing is easy. It is still difficult, frustrating and will take perseverance.
Therefore, it is best to find your passion and pursue it with unbridled enthusiasm. When you are able to find what drives you, there will be nothing that will be able to stop you on your road to finding success.