“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
– Bill Gates
In this episode I encourage you to actually celebrate your failures because failure is the only way to discover your weaknesses and once those are found, you can conquer them and move on to success.
Success is Dependent on What is Inside of Us
I shared a passage from the book As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, where you lays the foundation for my belief that we must learn to push towards failure and at that point, celebrate the fact that we’ve achieved it. Here is part of what James Allen writes:
“Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph.”
As you can see, James Allen is saying we MUST fail in order to overcome weakness. This seems counterintuitive but let’s look at it in a different area of our lives where failure is actually celebrated.
Bodybuilders Celebrate Failure
Most (but not all… I know, don’t email me.. haha) bodybuilders will work their muscles until they reach failure. By this I mean, if they’re doing benchpresses, they will continue to press that bar up until they simply can not do it again. Sometimes they’ll even use a “spotter” who stands over them to grab the bar when they do fail (not a bad idea in life).
The strange thing is, pushing towards failure actually helps a bodybuilder push even further the next time they’re under those weights. Because reaching that point of failure strengths their muscles. The same thing happens to us when push towards failure in life.
There’s a Difference Between Failing and Quitting
Failure happens when we continue to push but are unable to move forward. Quitting happens when we stop pushing when we still have more we’re capable of doing. Quitting will reinforce the negative belief that you’re lazy or don’t have what it takes to succeed.
Go Back to Something That’s Failed and Push Again
I would like you to go back to an area in your business, life, or even a relationship where you confronted true failure. But, make sure this failure happened because you reached your limit not because someone was standing in your way. Pushing repeatedly against someone elses will will only frustrate you. Once you’ve found this failure, I’d like you to push against it again, now that some time has passed and you’ve become stronger inside.
Charge through this area of failure again and don’t quit. Push hard and push until you simply can’t push anymore. Then rest again for some time and come at it again. Remember, keep this to an area where you’ve had failure because you reached YOUR limit.
Let me know how if you have any questions about this topic. I know it can be a bit confusing, so don’t be hesitant to ask.