Dictionary.com defines failure as “a person or a thing that proves unsuccessful.” So, apparently failure depends on your definition of success.
Back in the day of the great inventors they saw mistakes as a necessary experience on their way toward success. Who hasn’t heard the story of Thomas Edison being interviewed by the news reporter?
It was well known that Edison wanted to make an electric lightbulb. He had tried thousands of different filaments, only to have each of them burn out. A reporter assumed that he had “failed” to create the light build and he asked Edison what it felt like to fail 2,000 times. Edison simply looked at him and replied, “I haven’t failed 2,000 times; I have discovered 2,000 ways not to make a light bulb.”
Edison was an inventor, and inventors knew to break through to the next level one had to experiment with multiple possibilities. Experimenting meant that there were going to be wrong hypothesis, or ideas, that didn’t work.
It was a long term focus that required making multiple mistakes to narrow down the field of possibilities until the solution was found.
Today, people expect instant success. For whatever the reason, these last few generations have lost the ability to view mistakes as a necessary part of the path toward success.
Here are a few beliefs successful people share that you need to embrace:
– Risks are necessary to break out of your current sense of normal and achieve the next level of greatness.
– When you risk, you will make mistakes.
– Mistakes are necessary in order to learn.
– Failure is not defined by making mistakes, but the refusal to learn from them.
When you stop trying to achieve your dreams, when you confuse mistakes as failures and quit, that is when you have begun to fail.
If you have stopped chasing your dreams, you haven’t fully failed; you’ve simply allowed frustration to take you down failures path. Your life isn’t over yet. You haven’t failed. You haven’t “proven yourself unsuccessful.” At least, not yet.
You might have thought you were a failure, but the truth is you were only mistaken.
Pick your dreams back up. Keep striving for them, and learn from your mistakes; it’s never too late to start learning again.
You are a great success story, you just haven’t reached the end of the book yet!