Why Failure Leads To Success
Many books have been written about the power of positive thinking. And it all comes down to mindset. As I've mentioned before, we can't always control our circumstances, but we can control how we react to them. Mindset is what motivates our actions. Anyone can change their mindset. It starts with forming new (and ideally good) habits. Gandhi proposed "thoughts turn into words, words turn into actions, actions turn into habits, habits turn into values." Or said another way, your thoughts motivate your actions. Your actions create results. And those results formulate your beliefs. When done repeatedly that cycle becomes habitual. But it's not an instantaneous process. It requires discipline and consistency to create and sustain new habits in your life.
Forming new habits is no different from how an athlete or musician improves their skills. It's about showing up every day, being present, and putting in the work. Thomas Edison believed that "genius is 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration." This coming from a man who failed 1,000 times before he successfully created the light bulb. You would think that 1,000 attempts of anything would be enough to drive someone insane. Not Thomas Edison though. His response was "I didn't fail 1,000 times, the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Do you see the shift in mindset?
Being rejected is a humbling experience. Like a salesman on the doorstep, you're told no, as the door slams in your face. But here's the bittersweet reality; rejection is the path to acceptance. Just like failure is the path to success. For reasons we don't always understand, sometimes God closes certain doors in our lives. Usually because He has a better door for us just down the hallway. The important part is to keep walking and trust the process.
Going back to Thomas Edison, imagine what our world would be like without the light bulb. Would we still be using candles to see in the dark? Think of how many other inventions came to be as a result of the light bulb. Edison could have given up after the 100th unsuccessful attempt. But he was no quitter. Instead he believed failure was part of the process. What if we adopted the same mindset? What if we saw failure as the launchpad to success?
It's all about iteration. What is this 9 letter word you ask? It's a term used in computer science that serves as the standard element for creating algorithms. Merriam Webster defines iteration as "a procedure in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to a desired result." Think Fibonacci sequence, with the basic premise being "doing something multiple times". For us non-science folks though, it can be simplified to one word: adjust.
Iteration is about adjusting a variable with the hopes of improved results. But you don't have to be a computer programmer to use this practice. It could be as simple as baking muffins. Maybe the first time you try using almond flour, and the second time you try using coconut flour. The process to make the muffins is the exact same both times, the only difference is the type of flour used. If the results are not favorable, maybe you try oat flour in the muffin recipe next time. It's about finding the right combination of variables that will lead to the most successful outcome. Anyone can iterate, it's not rocket science.
My point is don't quit. Keep pursuing your dreams. The famous baseball player Babe Ruth once said "don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."So don't let failure or the fear of failure stop you. We will always appreciate more what we have to work hard for. If it was just handed to us, where's the fun in that? But when you're working hard night and day towards a specific goal, that satisfaction can't be replicated. As humans, we're made for hard work. But we're also not meant to do it alone. It's okay to ask for help. God is just one knee-mail away from sending you assistance. And there are people in your life who would love to help. You just have to ask them.