If we aim to view failure as the enrichment-tool that it is, in awe of the power it holds to enlighten and force us to uplift ourselves to higher understanding and wiser choices, perhaps there is no failure at all.
Failure is after all, what we owe all true and lasting success to. To appreciate our achievements fully, we must have experienced the antithesis, our falls from grace and stumblings along life’s wild and ever-shifting terrain.
I had a fabulous professor in University, Dr. John North, who spoke profoundly of life’s opposites and their purpose. His logic struck my impressionable heart to the core.
(This may not be his exact words, but rather how my eager mind remembers them all these years later…)
“How can we ever know, understand, and appreciate fully joy, if joy is all we’ve ever known? Joy, in its sameness becomes drab and simple. But… (and he loved his dramatic pause for effect)
But… when we crawl our way out of the depths of despair, from darkness to the light, then, THEN the sunlight, the hope, the knowing of the opposite of what was just moments ago, this is Joy realized and understood, never to be simple or mundane again.”
Until we have forgotten, as we humans tend to do, and we dip down and then emerge again, and again, and we learn and learn and learn, lessons old and then anew.
And so it is with Failure and Success.
We learn, we evolve, we emerge… higher, deeper, wiser and infinitely more aware.
The following, is from a fabulous man of wisdom and words, who has embraced his fair share of failure and abundant success in business and in love.
D. Paul Graham is President and CEO of Graham Capital Partners, LLC in Savanah, Georgia and is married to the soul that illuminates his.
Each Monday Morning he shares, humbly and with humor, his brilliance via his “5 Things”.
This was last week’s insights on failure.
I hope they serve to remind you that a hero with a potential for limitless success lives within us all, but is brought to light only to the extent that we embrace the dark.
5 Things, by D. Paul Graham
Here you go….5 Things…..Failure…..
This past week I reflected on failure and some of the spectacular failures I’ve had in my life.
1. Failure is necessary. Despite how painful it can be at the time, the valley of failure builds fortitude to pick ourselves up and to climb back out, creates an environment for positive change, allows us to challenge our thinking, our dreams and our lives, and ultimately allows perspective on success.
2. Failure refines. Failure gives us the opportunity to be honest, open, and vulnerable with ourselves and with those around us. Failure is a disguised gift that moves us out of our comfort zones, allowing us time to step back and check the consequences of our actions.
3. Failure will be relished by others. There will be people in our lives, sadly often those closest to us, that will mock our dreams and will be inwardly and outwardly pleased with our failure. I decided early in life that I wouldn’t let anyone define me by any of my failures.
4. Failure is not forever. In one of his many insightful quotes, Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
5. Failure is invaluable. No goal worth pursuing can be achieved without some failure along the way. If I’m going to fail, I want to fail big. I want to embrace spectacular failures because I was calculated, I took a chance, and I was committed.
Here’s to a week of giving yourself permission to fail and in turn giving yourself profound permission to succeed.