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How to succeed in life without a single failure?

Updated on April 12, 2011

You can't.

Apologies if my title may have misled you. I will take a wild guess, however, that you are reading this hub maybe because you thought that there is a way to succeed in life without incurring a single failure. Yes? No?

Or another guess might be that people really just want to succeed and if there is a way where it can just happen without any difficulties or failures, then we'll take it. Yes? No?

I believe that everyone wants to be successful in everything they do. How you measure success depends on you. For some, other people will determine whether other people are successful or not.

Success can mean different things to different people and for the purpose of this hub, I'll just define it as achieving your goal. Failure, on the other hand, is defined simply as not being able to achieve your goal.

Failure is not an option

Have you ever heard someone says "Failure is not an option."? Sometimes in some situations where success would seem to be the only way and failure must be avoided at all cost, some people would program their minds that failure is not an option.

This has been always in my mind and sometimes I apply it in my own situations. Not too long ago, however, I've read somewhere someone wrote that failure is not an option, it is a requirement. It struck me and I thought if it is a requirement, then it is not an end-result.

Therefore the theme of this hub is that maybe failure is not a destination after all, but rather something that is part of the journey to success.

What is failure?

I will not pretend to be an expert and try to define what a failure is. Like I said above, I'll simply define it as not being able to achieve a goal.

Having said that, to me, failure is a result of an action with the purpose of achieving a goal but for some reasons, after the action was taken, the goal wasn't reached.

Someone told me before that it doesn't matter how many times you fall, what matters is how many times you get back up.

Perhaps failure is just a process of learning or building experience so we know how we can get back up. Through failure we can discover what we have done wrong and correct it. It gives us understanding or enlightenment about our actions so we can try again.

Therefore what I would do then, is convert this failure into "education" or "learning". What have I learned here? I didn't achieve my goal, why?

Now talking about "learning" and "education", the next obvious subject is the "mind". If failure is just a process of learning, then isn't it just a state of mind? If it is, then we have the freedom to choose what to do with it.

The powerful mind

I'm sure you've heard and probably have read a number of books about how powerful the human mind is. There's "The magic of thinking big", "The power of positive thinking", "Think to win", "Think yourself well" and many many others.

Rene Descartes puts it in a deep phrase saying "I think, therefore I am."

Aristotle once wrote about the mind or soul that it is the "cause and principle" of the body, the realization of the body.

In modern times, you'll see that Mahatma Ghandi wrote “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” Also, Napoleon Hill's famous expression "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

If the mind is "oh so powerful", can we use it to our advantage in averting the dire consequences of a failure? You bet we can!

Take charge

I think it was Les Brown who said "Never claim a bad day, say you had a character-building day."

I think this is how we should treat failures. We acknowledge that our actions didn't win us the goal and think about why and how to get it next time. We'll use our minds to program ourselves to choose the appropriate actions following a failure. Let's charge it to experience and gain some knowledge to do better next time.

Think about what happened. What have you done wrong? Who to ask for help?

Some people get blinded by the consequences of failing that they just stop and quit. Maybe the consequences are just too deep or too heavy or too painful and the heart overpowers the mind. I'm sure this happens and is part of the realities in life. I just hope that no matter what the consequences are, that somehow we'll get through it. And in those times, whenever you can, you'll use the power of the mind and take charge.

Adios to failure!

I hope I have established my case that perhaps failure is success-in-the-making. It's not the destination. It's not the result. It's just part of a process; a process towards success. Therefore, if we see failures this way, then perhaps in life, we could see nothing but learning and success.

Take it easy.

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