I want to tell to ya’ll about something that will literally shift your thinking. First things first, if your slouching right now, I want you to sit up straight and pay attention. I spent 17 years getting my formal education and not once was taught this new way of thinking about failure, and I want to teach you something that completely blew my mind when I first heard it.
Whether you are college educated or not, or dropped out of high school, this still applies to you. In fact, if you did drop out, it will probably even make more sense. The reason why it may be difficult for someone that went to college or whatever, is just the fact of being institutionalized, that failure means either wasted time, or nothing gained.
In the ‘real world,’ this couldn’t be further from the truth. Failure as just feedback on your actions. In school, where the goal is to pass or fail (essentially), most things in life do not fit the schools definition on failure.
Just because something did or didn’t happen doesn’t mean failure. In fact, it can be the first step in a successful direction. I like to use exercising as an example. As pretty much everyone reading this has done a push-up before, or at least taken gym class. Either way, you can just get on the floor and start pumping them out, no problem right?
What happens if you have an elite athlete coaching you? Do you think he has something to say about how your doing them? Their are about 1000 little adjustments he can tell you to produce a better result doing the exact same movement, but just with a few tweaks. Maybe you need to adjust your elbows in. Maybe you need to keep your back level. Maybe your wrist needs to be twisted a 1/2 inch the other way. I think you get the point. There are 1000 different micro adjustments you can make to perfect the push up.
You know how many wrong notes I played while learning a piece on the piano? I couldn’t even tell you – countless. But after hours of tweaking, adjusting, listening, and repeating, it all came together in the end with not mistakes.. and even if I play a 5 minute piece with 5000 notes, and I miss 1 note? Who really cares?
How many times during a hockey game did I completely miss the net? Tons. It didn’t stop me from being the number one scorer out of the whole league though. In fact, taking as many opportunities as I had to take a shot on the goal, only increased my changes of scoring.
It is true that practice makes perfect, but in actuality, it is perfect practice, makes perfect. So my point is, stop looking at failure as something you did wrong. Look at it as a step toward becoming great.
It is okay to make mistakes and failures. The successful part is being able to get back up and try again. You are only a failure if you blatantly give-up, and STOP progressing.
I want you to create a new meaning for the so-called failures you have. Don’t let others make you think less of yourself. So much negativity is in the world, and I am just DONE with it. I guess you can say I failed at being a failure =). It just ain’t gonna happen when you got ambition like this – and you can create your own inner source of ambition, and I’ll share some exercises to do just that – because they aren’t really talked about.
P.S. Leave a comment below and share with me what your thoughts of failure are, and how you have drawn something positive out of those experiences.